by Marty Cook
Posted 7/31/2014 09:45 am
Updated 5 months ago
ArcBest Corp. of Fort Smith reported second-quarter profit of more than $17 million Thursday.
ArcBest, formerly known as Arkansas Best Corp., said revenue for the quarter rose to $658.6 million from the same quarter a year ago. The company saw an increase in income from $4.9 million to $17.2 million, or 63 cents earnings per share.
The company said the earnings per share amount was the best in six years.
ABF Freight, ArcBest’s largest subsidiary, reported revenue of $492.9 million, an increase from $446.8 million the same quarter of 2013. ArcBest’s non-asset businesses, led by Panther Premium Logistics, also turned in a strong quarter with revenue of $178 million, up from $138.8 million.
Panther’s revenue increased 35 percent to $81.4 million.
"Our second-quarter results improved significantly from both the first quarter of 2014 and the year-ago quarter, which was welcome news as we emerged from the harsh winter weather earlier this year," said Judy McReynolds, ArcBest’s president and CEO. "As the economy picked up in the second quarter, ABF Freight experienced better pricing conditions and also saw the positive impact from the new labor agreement, while Panther reported one of the strongest quarters in its history."
ArcBest said ABF Freight benefitted from a labor agreement reached with the Teamsters in 2013 and the consolidation or closing of 30 terminals in the past six months. McReynolds said on a conference call that the company had a change of operations in July to improve service and efficiency through cities such as Phoenix, Seattle, Denver and Dallas.
ArcBest has also purchased two lots and buildings in Memphis that are adjacent to ABF Freight’s existing terminal on Dunn Avenue. A local group offered ArcBest a $4 million economic development grant to move operations from North Little Rock to Memphis, but ArcBest has not officially committed to the move.
Teamsters officials said they have been told to expect a change of operations notification about the Memphis move in a few months after the company determines how the move to Memphis will affect its network grid. McReynolds said any future changes would be done with a focus on improving service.
"I talk about that we are going to be continually evaluating the network, and there will be further changes," McReynolds said. "The emphasis from this point forward is really on service."