USA Truck, Inc. turned another quarter of profit in a struggling sector that’s been pounded during the economic downturn.
For the quarter ended September 30, 2010, the Van Buren-based dry goods hauler recorded net income of $586,000, a welcome change from last year’s $1.6 million third quarter net loss. Revenue rose 22% to $100.8 million compared to last year.
Despite third quarter earnings and a second quarter profit, USA Truck remains in the red for the fiscal year. For the nine months ended September 30, USA Truck has a $1.5 million loss on revenue of $284.9 million.
One year ago, the company had a $4.7 million loss with revenue trailing at $246.4 million.
CEO Clif Beckham said that efforts the company has been making to provide more flexible services to customers was paying off. He also said that conditions are improving in its markets, but demand may be a concern for the future.
“Freight demand and truck capacity in the truckload marketplace seem to be near equilibrium with pockets of strength and softness in particular geographic regions around the country," he said. "Demand has moderated recently and we have yet to see a strong fall peak shipping season, so we expect the overall market to remain near equilibrium until Thanksgiving with demand outstripping capacity in certain parts of the country. We believe capacity will exceed demand during the seasonally weak winter months, but we anticipate further tightening of capacity as next spring approaches."
“While we are optimistic about the industry’s prospects as 2011 and beyond unfolds, we are bracing for what is likely to be two challenging quarters between now and next spring. We have improved our model considerably over the past year and those improvements will serve us well for the next six months, but we are also facing some near-term headwinds," Beckham added.