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Marten Transport reports best-ever net increase of more than 30 percent in first quarter of 2019

Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves

Marten Transport posted its best-ever first-quarter operating revenue, operating income and net income in the company’s 74-year history in the first quarter of 2019, the company said in its April 16 earnings release.

The Mondovi, Wisconsin-based truckload carrier earned $13.5 million, or 25 cents per share, in the three months ending March 31, compared with $10.3 million, or 19 cents per share, in the same period a year ago.

Operating revenue climbed 6.5 percent to $199 million in the first quarter of 2019. Marten, which hauls temperature-sensitive goods, generated revenue of $187 million in the first quarter of 2018.

“We expect to see strong demand throughout 2019 for our premium services with our diversified base of over 650 customers,” said Randolph Marten, chief executive of Marten, in a release.

Operating income improved 30.4 percent to $17.7 million for the first quarter of 2019, up from $13.8 million in the same period a year ago.

Marten’s operating ratio improved to 91.1 percent in the first quarter, down from 92.7 percent in the same period a year ago.

The company’s net income and diluted earnings per share from the trailing 12 months (TTM) that ended March 31, 2018, excluded a $56.5 million deferred income tax benefit in the fourth quarter of 2017. Net income, including the benefit of the TTM, ended March 31, 2018, was $92.4 million, or $1.68 per diluted share.

The company added 65 truckload and 51 dedicated tractors during the first three months of 2018, Marten said.

The trucking company also enhanced its balance sheet with $85.5 million in cash in the first three months of 2019, up from $56.8 million in the same period a year ago, Marten said.

“A number of our customer agreements included a shift beginning mid-first quarter last year from line haul to fuel surcharge revenue, which reduced our dedicated and truckload revenue, excluding fuel surcharges, by $2.9 million and $782,000, respectively for this year’s first quarter, and by $1.4 million and $282,000, respectively, for the first quarter of 2018,” Marten said in the earnings release.

The company’s fuel surcharge revenue increase in both periods by the same amounts, he said.

Marten has five business platform that include truckload, dedicated, intermodal, brokerage and MRTN de Mexico.

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Clarissa Hawes

Clarissa has covered all aspects of the trucking industry for 14 years. She is an award-winning journalist known for her investigative and business reporting. Before joining FreightWaves, she wrote for Land Line Magazine and If you have a news tip or story idea, send her an email to [email protected].