ArcBest Corp. (Nasdaq: ARCB) of Fort Smith on Friday reported first-quarter profit of $71.3 million, up 2.4% from $65.6 million in the same quarter a year ago.
On a per-share basis, the Fort Smith, Arkansas-based company said it had profit of $2.84. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, were $1.58 per share.
The results missed Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of four analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.78 per share.
ArcBest’s bottom line got a boost from the $100 million sale of FleetNet America, its maintenance division, to Cox Automotive Mobility Solutions Inc. of Atlanta in a deal that closed Feb. 28. ArcBest said it cleared $51.4 million from the sale.
Revenue in the quarter was $1.1 billion, down from $1.3 billion in the first quarter of 2022.
ABF Freight, the company’s asset-based division, reported an 8.8% increase, from 1.2 million to 1.3 million, in quarterly shipments but that was offset by a 8.5% drop in revenue per shipment from $578.80 to $529.43. ArcBest said the size of orders was smaller due to "softness in the general economy."
The division's total revenue came to $697.8 million, down from $705.3 million. Operating income was $47.5 million, down from $80 million.
In the company' asset-light division, it saw lower demand and market rates, which dropped revenue to $438.1 million from $595.3 million a year ago. Operating margins were further pressured by increases in operating expenses. The division posted an operating income loss of $14.1 million, down from $21.1 million.
The company sold FleetNet two months into the three-month quarter. CEO Judy McReynolds said the sale "strengthened our balance sheet and positioned ArcBest to further accelerate the return of capital to shareholders."
"Our team is committed to our long-term financial and operational goals while we manage through short term market changes," she said.
On March 1, the company said it launched Vaux Freight Movement System, a program it says allows freight to be loaded and unloaded at facilities much quicker. "We’re still early in the rollout," the company said, "but we see meaningful upside opportunity to our business through this new solution."
Shares of the company were up 4% Friday morning. For the year to date, shares are up 37%.
The Associated Press contributed information to this report.