Marten shows solid growth for Q2 earnings

  (Photo: Marten)

(Photo: Marten)

Marten Transport, with headquarters in Mondovi, Wisconsin, is one of the leading temperature-sensitive truckload (reefer) carriers in the United States, specializing in transporting and distributing food and other consumer packaged goods (CPGs) that require a temperature-controlled or insulated environment. Marten’s dry freight services continue to expand, with 1,523 dry trailers operating as of June 30, 2018. Marten's services cover the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, concentrating on expedited movements for high-volume customers. Marten’s common stock is traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol MRTN.

Marten Transport, Ltd. (Nasdaq/GS: MRTN) today reported a 49.9% improvement in net income to $13.7 million, or 25 cents per diluted share, for the second quarter ended June 30, 2018, from $9.1 million, or 17 cents per diluted share, for the second quarter of 2017. The second quarter earnings improved 32.6% sequentially from 2018 first quarter net income of $10.3 million, or 19 cents per diluted share. Net income improved 38.5% to $24.0 million, or 44 cents per diluted share, for the first six months of 2018, from $17.4 million, or 32 cents per diluted share, for the first half of 2017.

Operating revenue improved 14.9% to $197.0 million for the second quarter of 2018 from $171.5 million for the second quarter of 2017, and improved 11.4% to $384.0 million for the first six months of 2018 from $344.7 million for the 2017 six-month period. Excluding fuel surcharges, operating revenue improved 8.5% to $169.2 million for the 2018 quarter from $155.9 million for the 2017 quarter, and improved 6.6% to $333.1 million for the first six months of 2018 from $312.5 million for the 2017 six-month period. Fuel surcharge revenue increased to $27.8 million for the 2018 quarter from $15.6 million for the 2017 quarter, and increased to $50.9 million for the first six months of 2018 from $32.2 million for the 2017 six-month period.

Operating expenses for the second quarter of 2018 were 90.8% of operating revenue, compared with 90.9% for the second quarter of 2017. Operating expenses as a percentage of operating revenue, with both amounts net of fuel surcharges, improved to 89.2% for the second quarter of 2018 from 90.0% for the second quarter of 2017.

Operating expenses for the first six months of 2018 were 91.7% of operating revenue, compared with 91.4% for the 2017 six-month period. Operating expenses as a percentage of operating revenue, with both amounts net of fuel surcharges, improved to 90.4% for the first six months of 2018 from 90.6% for the 2017 six-month period.

Chairman and CEO Randolph L. Marten said, “Our improved top-and-bottom-line results demonstrate the balanced strength of Marten’s unique multifaceted business model, with significant increases in the operating income produced across our four distinct operating platforms: Truckload, Dedicated, Intermodal, and Brokerage. With our talented people continuing to position our operations to capitalize on the strengthening freight environment, we expect to deliver continued growth with increasing compensation for our premium services, additional freight with existing and new customers, and our emphasis on operating efficiencies and cost controls.”

“Our agreements with a number of customers included a shift beginning in this year’s first quarter from line haul to fuel surcharge revenue, which reduced our Dedicated and Truckload revenue, net of fuel surcharges, by $200 and $43 per tractor per week in the second quarter, and by $155 and $28 per tractor per week in the first half of this year. The change reduced our revenue excluding fuel surcharges by $3.8 million for the second quarter and by $5.4 million for this year’s first six months, while increasing our fuel surcharge revenue by the same amounts.”

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