Landstar And JB Hunt Numbers Rise

A focus on top-line growth and deeper account penetration helped Landstart System achieve third-quarter revenue gains of 15.4% to $733 million when comparied with the prior-year period. The results beat analyst expectations, said Sitfel Nicolaus.

In the fragmented transportation industry, and weak economic environment revenue in the company's Transportation Logistics segment (a combination of the former Carrier and Global Logistics segments, comprising 99% of 3Q08 revenue) grew 15.7%, year-over-year, said the analyst report. “The revenue increase was totally driven by unit revenue improvement, as total loads hauled by the company declined more than 3% year-over-year in the 3Q08.”

JB Hunt Transport Services reported a 24% increase in earnings per share in the third quarter compared with the prior-year period. Intermodal operating income grew 21% year-over-year to $74 million. The Intermodal operating income growth came on revenue growth of 24% and a deterioration in segment operating ratio of 30 basis points to 86.1%, noted Stifel Nicolaus. Intermodal load count increased more than 13% due primarily to growth in loads in the eastern network (eastern network volume increased more than 50%).

Dedicated operating income grew 10% to $27 million. Dedicated revenue grew 3%, but excluding fuel surcharges, revenue declined 6% on a 5.3% decline in loads and an 8% reduction in length of haul as the company continued to move into shorter haul lanes, observed the analysts.

Operating income in the Truck segment was $2.7 million, a 73% decline year-over-year. Revenue declined 26%, roughly in line with the 30% reduction in tractors compared to 3Q07, the report continued.

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