USA Truck (NASDAQ: USAK) capitalized on increased demand and tight capacity during the third quarter.
Thursday after the market close, the Van Buren, Arkansas-based truckload carrier reported adjusted net income of $2.6 million, or 29 cents per share. This was well ahead of the 6-cents-per-share consensus estimate and a loss of 13 cents per share in the 2019 third quarter.
“The third quarter of 2020 was the tale of two freight markets. The first half of the quarter was similar to the second quarter of 2020, with unpredictable week to week swings in freight, pricing and seasonally softer demand,” President and CEO James Reed stated in the release. “The market turned toward the middle of August as capacity constraints emerged and demand strengthened.”
Trucking revenue increased 4% year-over-year to $97 million as revenue per truck per week rose 10%. Loaded miles were up slightly, with revenue per loaded mile increasing 9%.
Logistics revenue increased 32% year-over-year to $52 million as loads increased 4%, with revenue per load climbing 27%. Gross margin fell 90 basis points to 11.3%. The division reported nearly $1 million in adjusted operating income in the quarter, four times the prior-year period.
Regarding the logistics segment, “We expect the combination of tighter supply and traction gained on self-help initiatives will set us up well for the fourth quarter of 2020 and beyond,” commented Reed.
The improved results allowed the company to lower its debt leverage to 3.5x net debt-to-earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and rent (EBITDAR) from 4.1x at the end of the second quarter.
Shares of USAK are up more than 6% in after-hours trading.
The company will host a conference call to discuss third-quarter results Friday at 9 a.m. Stay tuned to FreightWaves for more coverage on USA Truck’s earnings report.