USA Truck (NASDAQ: USAK) posted its most profitable first quarter results since 2006 on April 25. The quarter is now the seventh straight quarter of profitability.
The Van Buren, Arkansas-based carrier reported first quarter 2019 net income of $1.5 million, or 13 cents per share, up from $1 million, or 13 cents a share, the company reported in the first quarter of 2018.
The company reported that its consolidated operating revenue for the first three months of the year rose 7.2 percent to $134 million from $125 million in the same period a year ago.
“The first quarter of 2019 marks the second consecutive first quarter of profitability and the most profitable first quarter since 2006,” said James Reed, president and chief executive of USA Truck.
“The first quarter was important in the making of USA Truck’s narrative about our ability to compete, our self-help story and our position in the marketplace,” he said in a statement.
Reed said the first quarter presented a “complex environment with dropping spot rates that put pressure on our logistics business, a continued challenging driver market, increasing fuel prices, relative seasonally soft first quarter demand, and another unusually difficult weather season.”
Trucking operating revenue increased $16.1 million, or 20.4 percent, to $94.9 million in the first three months of the year compared with the same quarter a year earlier.
USA Truck increased its earnings per share by $0.05 per diluted share, or 38.5 percent, and adjusted earnings per share by $0.10 per diluted share, or 71.4 percent, year-over-year, Reed said.
The base revenue per loaded mile increased 11.7 percent to $2.24 for the first quarter, from $2.01 a year ago.
Base revenue per available tractor per week increased 4 percent, or $129, to $3,375, up from $3,246 in the first quarter of 2018.
The average number of seated tractors was 1,767, a 15.2 percent increase compared with the first quarter 2018 average of 1,534.
Operating revenue in the logistics division decreased 11.4 percent in the first quarter of 2019, coming in at $41.4 million, down from $46.4 million in the same period a year ago.
Operating income also decreased to $2.3 million, down from $2.9 million in the first quarter of 2018.
The company’s load count increased 4.1 percent to 27,600, up from 26,500 for the corresponding quarter of 2018.
“It was a tough quarter, but we persevered and produced a result that demonstrates progress toward becoming one of the best-performing companies in our sector,” Reed said in the release.