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J.B. Hunt falls short in Q4

Excluding claims, earnings miss more subdued

The quarter was not bad all things considered, analyst said. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

J.B. Hunt reported a large headline miss to the fourth-quarter consensus estimate Wednesday before the market opened. Earnings per share of $1.92 were more than 50 cents below analysts’ expectations. However, the number included a $64 million increase in casualty claim expenses, which was a 46 cent hit. Also, a higher tax rate in the period compared to the level it paid in the first three quarters of 2022 resulted in a 4 cent headwind to EPS.

Specific details regarding the incremental expenses were not provided but J.B. Hunt Transport Services (NASDAQ: JBHT) scheduled a conference call for 9 a.m. Wednesday to discuss results with analysts.

“JBHT’s underlying operating profit came in at $346 million vs. consensus of $348 million. We exclude the $64 million of pre-tax casualty insurance expense, which likely included some year-end true ups given the magnitude of the charge,” Deutsche Bank’s (NYSE: DB) Amit Mehrotra explained to investors following the release.

Click here for full report – J.B. Hunt hopeful for Q2 demand inflection

Consolidated revenue increased 4% year over year (y/y) to $3.65 billion but was down 3% y/y excluding the impact from fuel surcharges.

Brokerage revenue fell 33% y/y to $496 million as loads were down 27% and revenue per load fell 9%. Truckload volumes on the platform were off 21% y/y. Excluding the impact from claims expense, operating income in the segment was $12.2 million, a 42% y/y decline.

Intermodal revenue was up 11% y/y to $1.75 billion as revenue per load increased 12% (up 6% excluding fuel) and loads dipped 1%.

The dedicated unit had another solid performance in the quarter. Revenue increased 24% y/y to $880 million as average trucks in service jumped 14% and revenue per truck per week increased 9% (up 3% excluding fuel). Higher pricing and improved utilization were the drivers of the increase.

Revenue in the company’s truckload unit was up 6% y/y but down 2% excluding fuel surcharges. Revenue per load (excluding fuel) was down 8% in the quarter. Loads were up 6%.

Stay tuned to FreightWaves for continuing coverage of J.B. Hunt’s earnings announcement.

Click here for full report – J.B. Hunt hopeful for Q2 demand inflection

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One Comment

  1. Christopher Harris

    Boys and girls that have read this article, did anyone note the huge charge for casualty insurance. That is the reason which will push for driverless trucks. 64 million is in there mind lost money that will be in there pocket and time will be the judge.

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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.