2Q Revenue Rises 7.7 Percent As USA Truck Continues Rebound

USA Truck Inc. of Van Buren announced Wednesday second-quarter revenue of $115.5 million, a 7.7 percent increase over the same quarter last year.

While USA Truck (Nasdaq: USAK) reported a net loss of $1 million for the quarter, it was an improvement from the $3.5 million loss it reported for the second quarter of 2012. For the first six months of this year, the company is operating at a $3.5 million loss, an improvement over last year's net loss of $8.4 million.

"Operating margins improved by 390 basis points year over year on 7.7 percent base revenue growth across our combined services, while operating costs increased only 3.7 percent [net of fuel surcharge recoveries]," USA Truck President and CEO John Simone said in a news release (PDF).

"We reduced our net loss by 70 percent, marking our second consecutive quarter of material year-over-year improvement in operating results. We believe our turnaround plan gained traction during the June quarter, extending the year-over-year improvements in base revenue, operating income and net loss we achieved during the March quarter," he said.

"While we are encouraged by our progress, we are not satisfied and have not yet achieved our top priorities of returning to profitability and restoring shareholder value."

Trucking-based revenue increased 13.3 percent year-over-year for USA Truck, while operating costs increased 8.2 percent. It helped, Simone said, that the company reduced driver turnover by 31.2 percent.

Simone, who joined the company in February, has been evaluating USA Truck's strategy. He said he is pleased by signs of improvement.

"Most of the metrics reported in this release have not only shown year-over-year improvement, but also that the year-over-year improvement during the June quarter expanded upon the improvement in the March quarter on both dollar and percentage bases," Simone said. "We continue to execute our turnaround efforts with growing momentum. While we are encouraged by our progress, we are not satisfied with where we are.

"We believe there is ample room for better asset productivity and lower operating costs, and we have detailed initiatives in place to realize those improvements. We are accelerating the rate of change as quickly as possible, balancing the pace with the growing capabilities of the company. We look forward to sharing our progress in future communications."