Arkansas Best 2Q Profit Slips

Arkansas Best Corp. of Fort Smith on Tuesday reported second-quarter net income affected by two one-time items. Without those items, the trucking company's quarterly profit was down 2 percent to $5.2 million, even as revenue rose 2 percent to $511 million.

Arkansas Best reported total net income of $11.8 million or 44 cents per share compared with net income of $5.3 million or 20 cents per share during the same quarter last year. Revenue reached $511 million, up 2 percent from $499 million in the second quarter of 2011.

But results in the most recent quarter included two one-time items: a tax benefit of $8 million or 31 cents per share and transaction costs of $2.1 million or 5 cents per share. The latter is associated with the company's June 15 acquisition of Panther Expedited Services Inc.

"This transaction represents a major step in our long-term strategy to grow our non-asset-based businesses," Arkansas Best President and CEO Judy R. McReynolds said in a news release.

"If Panther had been included, total 2011 revenues for Arkansas Best's non-asset businesses would have exceeded $400 million. The addition of Panther and the services provided by our other non-asset-based subsidiaries complement our offerings at ABF and allow us to strengthen customer relationships."

In its earnings release, the company noted that second quarter daily tonnage levels continued to be below those of the same period last year amid an "inconsistent" U.S. economy. But it also said tonnage levels had improved in each month of the quarter.