LTL Carriers Highly Profitable

Words like “exceptional” and “record breaking” weren’t uncommon in motor carriers’ announcements of fourth quarter 2004 and full-year financial results, but volume growth in January 2005 was starting to slow.

ABF Freight System reported fourth-quarter 2004 revenues of $420.3 million and operating income of $40.1 million. Its operating ratio was 90.5. Full-year results were $1.59 billion in revenues and $127.8 million in operating income.

ABF Corp., parent of ABF Freight System reported $24.4 million net income in the fourth quarter on $454.5 million in revenues. It’s total net income for 2004 was $75.5 million on revenues of $1.72 billion.

Overnite Transportation completed its first full year as an independent company. Volumes were up 5.6% in the fourth quarter, but had started to slow in January. Revenues for the fourth quarter were $421.4 million, and net income was $16.6 million. Its fourth-quarter operating ratio was 93.4. Operating revenues for the full year were $1.6 billion, and net income was $63.3 million, yielding a 93.4 operating ratio for the full year.

Yellow Roadway Corp. reported combined results for its first full year. Operating revenues for the fourth quarter were $1.77 billion, and net operating income was $107 million. Full year operating revenues were $6.77 billion, and operating income was $357 million.

Roadway Express, now part of Yellow Roadway, reported fourth-quarter revenues of $822 million and operating income of $53 million. Annual operating revenues were $3.1 billion, and net operating income was $156.9 million.

Yellow Transportation reported fourth quarter revenues of $824.5 million and annual revenues of $3.18 billion. It stated its operating ratio for the fourth quarter was 93.5.

New Penn Motor Express, which is also part of the Yellow Roadway Corp., reported $69.47 million in operating revenues and $8.7 million in operating income in the fourth quarter. It’s full-year results were $260.6 million in revenues and $33.9 million in operating income. It gave its operating ratio as 87.5.

Old Dominion Freight Line reported revenues of $224 million in the fourth quarter, with net income of $10.6 million. Revenues for the year were $824 million, and net income was $38.9 million. Its operating ratio was 91.4.

CNF Corp., digesting the sale of Menlo Worldwide Forwarding, was facing some additional cost overheads. The company reported after-tax income of $41.1 million on continuing operations total revenues for the period were $967.5 million. Full-year results from continuing operations were $142.2 million income on $3.7 billion in revenues.

CNF’s less-than-truckload operation, Con-Way Transportation Services, delivered $667.8 million in revenues and $63.8 million in operating income for the fourth quarter. Full-year operating income was $245.5 million on revenues of $2.6 billion.

USF Corp. reported fourth quarter income of $6.6 million on revenues of $584 million. The company also reported $2.4 billion in revenues from continuing operations, yielding $23.8 million in operating income after including the effects of closing USF Red Star.

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