Newly Named ArcBest Narrows Loss, Posts 11 Percent Revenue Rise

by Lance Turner and Marty Cook  on Thursday, May. 1, 2014 3:18 pm  

The new logo for ArcBest Corp., formerly Arkansas Best Corp., whose new name, branding and stock symbol went into effect on Thursday.

ArcBest Corp. of Fort Smith, formerly Arkansas Best Corp., on Thursday narrowed its first-quarter loss and reported an 11 percent rise in quarterly revenue, even as it was hit with harsh winter weather and charges related to a pension settlement.

The company, which announced a name change and rebranding on Wednesday, reported a quarterly loss of $5.2 million, or 20 cents per share, down from a loss of $13.4 million, or 52 cents per share, in same quarter last year. Excluding the pension settlement charge, its loss would have been $2.9 million, or 11 cents per share.

Revenue was $577.9 million compared to $520.7 million in the same quarter of 2013.

More: Read the news release (PDF).

"This was a challenging quarter for our industry as severe weather across the nation disrupted operations," ArcBest President and CEO Judy R. McReynolds said in a news release. "Excluding that impact, our companies performed well, with ABF Freight overcoming the previous year’s loss, Panther posting strong operating profit and FleetNet experiencing record business levels on many days."

ABF Freight is the company's biggest subsidiary. The company said that without the $2.9 million pension settlement charge and $10.5 million in costs related to severe winter weather in the first quarter, the company would have made $1.2 million in operating profit.

ArcBest closed eight terminals in 2013 and another 22 in the first quarter of this year, finishing the process in March. The company estimated that the streamlined operations will result in annual savings of $10-12 million and future increased business.

The non-asset divisions, such as Panther, FleetNet and Logistics, generated 27 percent of ArcBest’s first-quarter revenue compared to 23 percent in the same quarter last year.

"Today marks an exciting new era for our organization," McReynolds said. "The new name, logo system and advertising campaign we unveiled yesterday allow us to more clearly communicate our total value proposition to our customers, our employees and our shareholders through one unified identity under the ArcBest umbrella."



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