Higher fuel costs sent the first quarter earnings of Covenant Transport, down 37%, to $2.0 million from $3.2 million in the 1999 period.
Revenue increased 29% to a record $126.5 million from $97.8 million in the first quarter of 1999.
Chairman David Parker said the average cost of a gallon of diesel fuel during the quarter was 48% higher than the first quarter of 1999. "After surcharges and fuel hedges, the after tax impact on Covenant was approximately $1.2 million or $.08 per share," he said. "Second, we
carried about 200 more open trucks than normal through most of the quarter, which impacted our revenue per tractor per week by about $160. The additional open trucks were caused principally by merging the breakeven operations of Harold Ives Trucking and Bud Meyer Truck Lines into our Chattanooga headquarters. Third, the freight environment for the month of March was not as robust as the March quarter of last year."