J.B. HUNTÆS 4TH-QUARTER PROFIT DOUBLES; WARNS OF HIGHER RATES
J.B. Hunt Transport Services said fourth quarter net income reached $10.9 million, nearly double the $5.6 million reported in the year-earlier quarter.
The Lowell, Ark.-based motor carrier said the earnings improved despite a 27-percent jump in fuel prices, “a slowdown in the freight-moving economy, collapsing used truck values and sky-rocketing insurance costs.”
The company's fourth quarter revenue fell 3.5 percent to $534.0 million. However, the lower revenue reflects the contribution of its non-asset-based logistics business to a jointly owned logistics company, Transplace.com. Adjusting for the logistics business, which was contributed effective July 1, the company's revenue growth for the fourth quarter was about 18 percent.
Transplace.com is jointly own by six publicly held truckload transportation companies and Dr. Jun-Sheng Li, its chief executive officer. While J.B. Hunt will share about 27 percent of Transplace.com's net results of operations, all logistics revenue will be excluded from the company's financial statements.
J.B. Hunt said it's truck segment grew 11 percent, while the intermodal segment's revenue rose 9 percent over the year-earlier quarter.
For the year, net income rose 13.1 percent to $36.1 million on $2.16 billion in revenue, up 5.6 percent.
“Current projections indicate a continuing slow growth for shipments at least through the first quarter of 2001, J.B. Hunt said.
The company also said a growing number of trucking bankruptcies could spell a truckload capacity shortage sometime in 2001. “Accordingly, the company expects rising freight rates to reflect the demand/supply imbalance and return some of the onerous cost increases that have plagued the industry for the last several years.”