by Lance Turner
Posted 1/24/2013 10:10 am
Updated 5 months ago
J. B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. of Lowell on Thursday announced record fourth quarter 2012 net earnings of $84 million, or 70 cents per share, up about 16 percent from net earnings of $72.6 million, or 61 cents per share, during the same quarter last year.
The logistics company attributed the profit growth to more revenue, effective cost controls and lower borrowing costs
The company also reported operating revenue of $1.34 billion, up from $1.2 billion in the same quarter last year. In a news release, the company said 11 percent load growth in its Intermodal segment (JBI) helped drive a 13 percent increase in segment revenue.
Revenue also rose in its Dedicated Contract Services (DCS) segment, up 9 percent as the division added new accounts. J.B. Hunt's Integrated Capacity Solutions (ICS) segment revenue increased 30 percent on a 47 percent rise in load volume.
But the company's Truck (JBT) segment revenue decreased 12 percent primarily from a 19 percent reduction in fleet size. In all, total operating revenue for the quarter, excluding fuel surcharges, increased about 10 percent from the same quarter last year.
J.B. Hunt noted that fourth quarter 2011 results included $3.9 million of pretax expense related to severance agreements for executive retirees and a charitable contribution, which reduced net earnings by 2 cents per diluted share.
Operating income for the fourth quarter increased to $143.3 million from $122.3 million in the same quarter last year, mainly due to higher revenue on greater load volumes, "improved network balance" in its JBI segment, new incremental customer accounts in DCS, and greater load volumes and better gross margins in ICS. The company said the improvements were partially offset by increased costs across almost all cost categories.