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J.B. Hunt Profits Fall Sharply in 2023 Amid Freight Recession

2 min read

J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. (Nasdaq: JBHT) of Lowell on Thursday reported falling profit for the fourth straight quarter, finishing a challenging year for the trucking and logistics company.

Net income in the fourth quarter was $153.5 million, down 23.7% from $201.3 million in the same quarter the previous year. Earnings per share came to $1.47, down from $1.92 a year ago.

The results did not meet Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of eight analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.74 per share.

Revenue in the fourth quarter was $3.3 billion, down 9% from $3.65 billion in the same quarter a year ago. It’s the fifth consecutive quarter J.B. Hunt has reported a decline in revenue, but the amount still exceeded Wall Street forecasts. Six analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $3.24 billion.

The company said the results were affected by drops in loads delivered by its Integrated Capacity Solutions and Truckload units and drops in revenue per loads in its Intermodal and Truckload units.

Soft demand in the fourth quarter continued a freight recession that hit J.B. Hunt’s bottom line — and its competitors’ — hard in 2023.

For the fiscal year, J.B. Hunt reported income was $728.3 million, down nearly 25% from $969.4 million. Earnings per share came to $6.97, down from $9.21.

Revenue for the full year was $12.8 billion, down 13% from $14.8 billion in 2022.

Intermodal

Quarterly revenue was $1.6 billion, down from $1.75 billion. Operating income was $129.9 million, down from $179.5 million.

For the year, revenue was $6.2 billion, down from $7 billion, and operating income was $569.4 million, down from $800 million.

The company said quarterly volume increased in the segment but a 13% decrease in revenue per load caused the revenue drop.

Dedicated Contract Services

Quarterly revenue was $883.9 million, down from $913.1 million. Operating income was $86.1 million, up from $79.3 million.

For the year, revenue was $3.54 billion, up slightly from $3.52 billion, and operating income was $404.8 million, up from $360.8 million.

Integrated Capacity Solutions

Quarterly revenue was $363.7 million, down from $483.6 million. Operating income was a negative $24.9 million, a drop from a loss of $3.2 million.

For the year, revenue was $1.4 billion, down from $2.3 million, and operating income was a loss of $44.1 million, down from $57.6 million.

The company said the segment’s results were affected by a 12% drop in volume and a 15% drop in revenue per load.

J.B. Hunt said $121.5 million of ISC quarterly revenue was generated by its Marketplace for J.B. Hunt 360°, down from $307.6 million; for the year, Marketplace’s revenue was $765.6 million, down from $1.5 billion.

Final Mile Services

Quarterly revenue was $243.2 million, down from $267.4 million. Operating income was $12.3 million, down from $12.9 million.

For the year, revenue was $918.1 million, down from $1.04 billion, and operating income was $46.7 million, up from $36.6 million.

Truckload

Quarterly revenue was $195.4 million, down from $242.7 million. Operating income was a loss of $39,000, down from $12.9 million.

For the year, revenue was $789.4 million, down from $936.7 million, and operating income was $16.5 million, down from $76.7 million.

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