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J.B. Hunt misses 3Q expectations

Widening losses in brokerage, higher rail costs and increased driver expenses were the headwinds

J.B. Hunt Truck on highway (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)


J.B. Hunt Transport Services (NASDAQ: JBHT) reported third-quarter earnings per share of $1.18, 9 cents below analysts’ expectations. The result was ahead of the 2019 third-quarter result of $1.10, but that period included $0.30 per share in arbitration charges related to the final award to BNSF Railway Company.

Total revenue of $2.47 billion was 5% higher year-over-year and ahead of the consensus estimate calling for revenue of $2.36 billion. The revenue increase was largely driven by a 25% increase in brokerage revenue per load, a 22% increase in final-mile revenue as total stops increased 34% and a 16% increase in the truck division as loads were up 14%. Total revenue, excluding fuel surcharges, climbed 9% compared to the 2019 period.

Operating income was also 5% higher year-over-year at $176 million, but down 17% year-over-year excluding the $44 million in charges related to the revenue-sharing dispute with BNSF. Higher purchased transportation costs on the railroads, widening losses in brokerage, increases in driver wages and recruiting expenses, higher third-party and drayage expenses, and increases in technology spending were listed as the culprits.

Shares of JBHT are down 6% in premarket trading.

The company will host a call at 10 a.m. EDT to discuss these results with analysts. Stay tuned to FreightWaves for continuing coverage of J.B. Hunt’s earnings results.

J.B. Hunt’s key performance indicators

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Todd Maiden.

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  1. Truck stop talk

    Owner operator with his own authority using rig bot android cellphone app as his log book and Uber freight, amazon freight, and DAT cellphone apps to get a load say he sometimes gets a jb hunt trailer to move

  2. Art

    Could’ve said this two months ago when JB Hunt was getting mauled on the load boards. The market flipped and JB hunt was stuck with 2/$ mile loads.

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Todd Maiden

Based in Richmond, VA, Todd is the finance editor at FreightWaves. Prior to joining FreightWaves, he covered the TLs, LTLs, railroads and brokers for RBC Capital Markets and BB&T Capital Markets. Todd began his career in banking and finance before moving over to transportation equity research where he provided stock recommendations for publicly traded transportation companies.