USA Truck Reports $4.4 Million Fourth-Quarter Loss

USA Truck Inc. of Van Buren on Monday announced a net loss of $4.4 million, or 42 cents per share, for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2011, compared with a net loss of $1.8 million, or 17 cents per share, for fourth-quarter 2010.

The company blamed the loss on a lack of progress on volume and pricing.

USA Truck (Nasdaq: USAK) reported an increase in fourth-quarter net revenue, to $126.2 million compared with $122.1 million in fourth-quarter 2010.

For the year, total revenue rose to $519.4 million compared with $460.1 million in 2010, but the company posted a net loss of $10.8 million last year compared with a net loss of $3.3 million in 2010.

Cliff Beckham, president and CEO, called the financial results disappointing.

"Our cost control efforts in our Trucking segment were effective, but we simply did not make the necessary progress on load volume or pricing during the quarter," Beckham said in a statement.

"Nevertheless, we believe that improvements in our underlying operational performance will support higher freight volumes and rates, and that the economic environment entering 2012 affords us a sound foundation for gaining asset utilization and profitability," he said.

Beckham also said that third-quarter results were hampered by "significant difficulties in implementing a new enterprise management software system. These difficulties caused a lack of visibility of freight in our system and numerous customer service disruptions.

"The service failures and lack of confidence in booking freight caused us to lose a percentage of our loads with many customers, often the most operationally demanding, highest paying loads."

In addition, he said, the company "phased out service on two major accounts, one due to the end of a project and one due to inadequate pricing," resulting in a 6.2 percent loss of load volume during that quarter.