Trucking/Intermodal news: J.B. Hunt posts strong second quarter results

Steady economic improvement throughout the course of the second quarter paved the way for an excellent performance for trucking and intermodal services provider J.B. Hunt.

<p>LOWELL, ARKANSAS, July 15, 2010 - J. B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc., (NASDAQ:JBHT) announced second quarter 2010 net earnings of $52.1 million, or diluted earnings per share of 40 cents vs. second quarter 2009 earnings of $24.0 million, or 19 cents per diluted share.</p>

LOWELL, ARKANSAS, July 15, 2010 - J. B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc., (NASDAQ:JBHT) announced second quarter 2010 net earnings of $52.1 million, or diluted earnings per share of 40 cents vs. second quarter 2009 earnings of $24.0 million, or 19 cents per diluted share.

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Steady economic improvement throughout the course of the second quarter paved the way for an excellent performance for trucking and intermodal services provider J.B. Hunt (JBH).

The company reported net earnings of $52.1 million—or $0.40 per share—a 53.9 percent annual gain. Operating revenue—at $943 million—was a 22 percent improvement over the second quarter in 2009, and operating income rose to $91.3 million in the second quarter compared to $47.1 million a year ago. 

Company officials attributed the increase in operating revenue to higher intermodal segment volumes and growth in its Dedicated Contract Services (DCS) and Truck segments.

“Demand for transportation services has increased fairly dramatically as we have emerged from a multi-year freight recession,” said JBH President and CEO Kirk Thompson in a statement. Scarcity of capacity in Intermodal, Truckload, and Brokerage markets was quite pronounced in the current quarter. We saw our business improve sequentially throughout the quarter as reflected in higher prices in Intermodal and Truck as the quarter unfolded.”

Thompson said that quarterly Intermodal pricing was down 2.7 percent year-over-year but increase 2.4 percent from April to June, and truck rates per mile—excluding fuel surcharges—were up 8.3 percent over the same timeframe.

And he added that demand across all business segments was solid throughout the quarter with no signs of renewed weakness. Shippers, he said, have increasingly exhibited concern about the supply/demand imbalance as their ability to secure additional capacity has become more difficult.

Segment performance: Intermodal revenue at $526 million was up 24 percent, and operating income at $59.5 million was up 54 percent. JBH officials said overall intermodal load volume was up 19 percent year-over-year, adding that transcontinental and eastern volumes were up 15 percent and 30 percent, respectively. They added that reported industry-wide equipment shortages in the truck and intermodal markets provided JBH with opportunities to assist shippers not seen since the 2007 Peak Season, and said that the company continues to receive requests from shippers looking for new trans-loading opportunities on the west coast and Peak Season capacity assurances.

Earlier this year, JBH Director of Intermodal Chad Thomas said at the NASSTRAC Annual Conference that mode conversion—to intermodal—is garnering a lot of attention as a way to reduce costs and be more environmentally-conscious, among other drivers.

“Clearly mode conversion is a big opportunity for shippers out there, and there continues to be a big opportunity for shippers to look over the highway to consider rail and intermodal,” Thomas. “Price stability is an option when converting to rails and there may be some savings in lanes when converting.

Dedicated Contract Services’ revenue at $229 million was up 31 percent, and operating income at $22.3 million was up 177 percent. This was driven by a 22 percent gain in revenue per truck per week, excluding fuel surcharge and an average truck count going up 4 percent to 4,436.

JBH’s Truck segment revenue at $125 million was up 15 percent and operating income was $7.2 million. Average length of haul was up 10 percent and rates were up 1.2 percent annually, following six quarters of declines. And JBH’s Integrated Capacity Solutions saw revenues of $70 million for a 3 percent gain and operating income at $2.2 million for a 48 percent decline.

 


About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

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