USA Truck announces their first quarter results
Cliff Beckham, CEO and President, made a statement concerning the financial & operating results for quarter which ended on March 31st, 2012.
He says that the results were pretty mixed in first quarter. Since the last August, they are concentrating for driving the sequential improvement for metrics of key performance as 1st step for building acceptable, sustained performance of finance. For 1st quarter, a lot of the improved, while the SCS & Intermodal segments too progressed. The over all financial performance was approximately same as 3rd and 4th quarters in 2011. Improvements for certain metrics of operation got off set by increase in the unmanned tractors & higher prices of fuel.
The are pretty pleased with strong performance for SCS segment; it posted growth for operating income around 15.8% to about $1.5 million year-2-year in spite of less robust environment of freight which had put pressure on the gross margins. They also got some encouragement of improvement in the Intermodal segment through which the operating loss got reduced by around 43.5% to loss of about $0.2 million as compared to 1st quarter of the year 2011. 2 business units of asset-light had produced more than 22 percent of the base revenue for quarter & had contributed good gross margin.
For the Trucking segment, operating metrics was pretty mixed. On positive side, there was good improvement for utilization of equipment (miles for one tractor in 1 week) & velocity (the loads for one tractor for one week) over 2nd half of the year 2011. The improvement was better than what was expected considering increase in the unmanned tractors, which get included in measurements. There was also improvement in the safety performance (which is measured by the reportable frequency of accident) & the on-time core customer service.
There was some sequential decline for revenue in total mile; but the total of 1st quarter had reflected increase of about 0.7% in same quarter of prior year. The base rate for one loaded mile had improved about 2.7 percent year-2-year, but the higher empty miles had off set some of the gain & also had negatively impacted the revenue of fuel surcharge.
Also really disappointing was increase in the unmanned count of tractor, which sharply rose in the month of February & March. Before that, they had reduced the unmanned tractors from peak of around 230 to about 100 in the month of January. Combination of the network changes, which is less than the optimal velocity, & alternatives of seasonal job had caused increase in the unmanned tractors to about 200 in March.
Attached charts (the Miles for one Tractor for one Week, the Load Velocity, the Loaded Revenue for one Mile & the Unmanned Tractors) has reflected these results that they have experienced in past 4 quarters of few of the key metrics of operation.
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