Less-than-truckload carrier Old Dominion Freight Line (NASDAQ: ODFL) reported first-quarter earnings per share of $1.70, 12 cents better than the consensus estimate and significantly ahead of the year-ago result of $1.11.
The Thomasville, North Carolina-based company reported a 14.1% year-over-year increase in revenue as tonnage increased 8.3% (shipments +6.9%). Tight truck capacity allowed the carrier to raise yields again with revenue per hundredweight up 5.6%.
“We are winning market share as demand for our industry-leading service continues to increase. In addition, we believe the domestic economy is getting stronger while industry capacity is generally limited,” commented Greg Gantt, president and CEO, in a Thursday press release.
The company posted a record first-quarter operating ratio of 76.1%, 530 basis points better year-over-year. Improved yields and increased weight per shipment (+1.3%) were cited as some of the catalysts.
“The improvement in freight density across our network created operating leverage that helped improve our aggregate overhead costs as a percent of revenue. Operating efficiencies and the increase in yield also contributed to the improvement in our direct operating costs as a percent of revenue,” Gantt added.
The OR improvement was achieved even as the carrier added employees to its workforce, a trend it expects to continue in the second quarter to handle the increase in volume.
Old Dominion will hold a conference call to discuss these results on Thursday at 10 a.m. EDT. Stay tuned to FreightWaves for more coverage on Old Dominion’s earnings report.