Knight Falls on USA Truck's Shareholders List

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Nov. 25, 2013 12:00 am  

John Simone, CEO of USA Truck Inc. of Van Buren.

Remember when Knight Transportation owned the most shares of USA Truck? Now the Phoenix-based trucking company is third on the list of shareholders of Van Buren’s USA Truck.

Stone House Capital Management purchased another 101,279 shares of USA Truck on Nov. 18 to bring its total holding to 1,445,109 shares. Stone House is now the top shareholder of USA Truck with 13.7 percent.

Baker Street Capital was the previous leader with 1.4 million shares (13.3 percent). Knight, which attempted to buy USA Truck earlier this year for $242 million, owns 1,304,517 shares (12.4 percent).

When Knight attempted to buy USA Truck, the stock price was less than $6 a share, but the combination of Knight’s interest and a promising third quarter has sparked interest in the stock.

USA Truck closed Thursday at $15.17 a share and has hit a trading high of $16.38 in recent weeks.

The rise in stock price and the entry of Stone House and Baker Street Capital as major shareholders have seemed to ease any takeover pressure on USA Truck.

That’s fine with the company’s management, which is trying to concentrate on completing the turnaround started by CEO John Simone, who joined the company in February.

“We don’t like the distraction,” said Cliff Beckham, USA Truck’s CFO. “We’re proud of our progress.”



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