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P.A.M. Transportation sees turnaround in Q1

Rate per total mile up 14% year-over-year

P.A.M. Transportation sees fundamentals improve in March (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

P.A.M. Transportation Services (NASDAQ: PTSI) reported net income of $11.9 million during the first quarter of 2021 compared to a loss of $1.3 million in the year-ago quarter.

The Tontitown, Arkansas-based carrier’s consolidated revenue increased 15% year-over-year to $149 million as its logistics division saw revenue more than double in the period.

The company doesn’t provide operating metrics — loads, revenue per load or gross margin — for its logistics segment but the operating ratio improved 800 basis points to 89.5%.

The carrier’s truckload division reported a 6% year-over-year increase in revenue per truck per week to $3,550 as average revenue per loaded mile jumped 14% to $2.09. Total miles fell by 13%. The carrier normally generates half of its revenue hauling freight for the auto manufacturing sector, which remains hobbled by a semiconductor shortage.

“We have been encouraged by our rate improvement results so far this bid season and anticipate additional improvement as we progress through the year,” commented Joe Vitiritto, P.A.M. Transportation president, in a press release.

Operating ratio in the division was nearly flat at 90.1%.

Table: P.A.M. Transportation’s key performance indicators

“Although we had a record first quarter and our team navigated the challenges well, we are not satisfied with these results,” stated Vitiritto. “Severe weather conditions during February negatively impacted our primary operating lanes and limited our ability to achieve internal targets set for the quarter.”

He said the company “regained momentum” as March progressed “but not enough to fully recover the February lost opportunities.”

The press release noted headwinds finding drivers, but salaries, wages and benefits expenses as a percentage of revenue were down 300 bps year-over-year. However, a 570-bp increase in rent and purchased transportation expense more than offset the decline on the salaries line.

P.A.M. Transportation’s consolidated OR was 90.8%, 180 bps better year-over-year.

The biggest variance was reported in nonoperating income, which typically represents fluctuations in the market value of the carrier’s equity securities portfolio. The line item showed income of $4.7 million in the first quarter compared to an expense of $9.1 million in the comparable 2020 period.

The carrier didn’t provide a balance sheet or cash flow statement with the report.

“We are also encouraged by the cost control and operating efficiency goals that we believe remain achievable throughout the remainder of the year,” Vitiritto concluded.

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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.