Old Dominion Freight Lines posted a 92.7 operating ratio for the first quarter of 2005, which represents net income of $9.3 million. Analyst firm Legg Mason attributes some of the positive performance to the addition of 12 service centers, the acquisition of Wichita Southeast Kansas Transit and other factors which position the regional less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier to provide direct coverage in 41 states, reaching 90% of the U.S. population.
Con-Way Transportation, part of CNF, was able to strengthen its results by implementing its general rate increase early, said equity research firm Morgan Stanley. In addition to cost savings it implemented, Con-Way instituted its general rate increase six weeks early, giving it a one-time earnings benefit in the first quarter.
Tonnage growth trends, according to Morgan Stanley, were slowing in the first quarter. Of the LTL carriers it had data for, Morgan Stanley reported Con-Way tonnage grew 6.6% in the first quarter compared with 9.4% in the fourth quarter of 2004. FedEx Freight grew tonnage 10.1% in the first quarter vs. 14% in the fourth quarter. Overnite Transportation and USF Corp. pre-announced tonnage growth at 2.5% and 5%, respectively. Overnite’s actual growth in fourth quarter 2004 was 5.6% and USF Corp. reported 4.8% for the period, making it the only one of the carriers showing faster volume growth in the first quarter.
Yellow Roadway Corp. reported earnings for its transportation companies. Yellow Transportation achieved record revenues of $791 million in the first quarter and reported adjusted operating income of $46 million. Roadway Express saw record revenues of $767 million, up 6.9% over the same period a year ago. Its operating income was $37 million. And, New Penn Motor Express also set a record for revenues in the quarter, reporting $65 million or a 16% increase. The announced acquisition of USF Corp. had not been completed, but those results, when the company has been integrated into Yellow Roadway Corp., will be part of the regional division that will include New Penn.>