P.A.M. Transportation Records $1.1 Million 4Q Loss

P.A.M. Transportation Services Inc. of Tontitown on Tuesday reported a $1.1 million fourth-quarter loss, a narrower loss than the $3.9 million loss the trucking firm reported during the same quarter last year.

For the full year, the company (Nasdaq: PTSI) reported a loss of $654,728, down from a loss of $10.8 million in 2009.

"The fourth quarter, like our third quarter, was met with mixed emotions," Daniel H. Cushman, company president, said in a news release. "While we are pleased that financial results for each quarter in 2010 improved over the same quarter in 2009 and that we have dramatically reduced the 2010 loss as compared to that experienced in 2009, several factors contributed to a loss of momentum in the third and fourth quarters."

Cushman said that during the year, the company improved its freight mix, turning down undesirable freight that it was not able to immediately replace.

"The freight we walked away from required a one year commitment so we had to make a decision, continue to haul it or walk away and replace it as quickly and efficiently as possible," he said. "We hoped we could do both, and replace it immediately with better paying freight. We eventually got the better paying freight, it just took longer than we would have liked."

Cushman also called the company's Mexico operation "a great success" that saw 35 percent growth in 2010. And he noted that in August, the company rescinded a 5 percent pay reduction that had been in effect since June 2009, resulting in increased driver payroll costs in the third and fourth quarters.

"While necessary for driver recruitment and retention, this increase combined with increased recruiting and advertising expenses had a negative impact of 2 cents per mile in the fourth quarter 2010 compared to the same quarter 2009," he said.