Saia Inc. reports increases in revenue, operating income in the first quarter

Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves

Saia Inc. (NASDAQ: SAIA) reported that its revenues and operating income were up in the first quarter of 2019.

Headquartered in Johns Creek, Georgia, the less-than-truckload carrier reported a 4.5 percent increase in revenue to nearly $411 million, up 4.5 percent, and a 3.8 percent increase in its operating revenue to nearly $29 million in the first three months of the year.

Saia, which operates 162 terminals across 42 states, fell short of analysts’ expectations of $0.90 in earnings per diluted share. It reported earnings per diluted share of $0.85, up from $0.80 in the first quarter of 2018.

While the first quarter 2019 diluted earnings per share were a first quarter record, harsh winter weather played a strong role in the company’s inability to “bring more of our strong yield to the bottom line,” said Rick O’Dell, Saia’s chief executive officer.

“The first quarter is typically the softest period of the year and we simply incurred too many weather-related volume and cost impacts to reach our profitability goals in the period,” he said. “Winter weather throughout the quarter caused parts of our network to be interrupted on an almost weekly basis.”

The company’s total debt was nearly $149 million at the end of the first quarter of 2019, up from total debt of $143 million at the end of the first quarter of 2018. Saia’s net capital expenditures were $56.5 million, including equipment acquired with capital leases, compared with $52.1 million a year earlier.

In 2019, the company expects net capital expenditures of $275 million to $300 million, according to its earnings release.

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Clarissa Hawes

Clarissa has covered all aspects of the trucking industry for 13 years. She is an award-winning journalist known for her investigative and business reporting. Prior to joining FreightWaves, she wrote for Land Line Magazine and Clarissa lives in Grain Valley, Missouri, with her family.

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