USA Truck 1Q Loss Widens In ‘Mixed’ Quarter

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USA Truck Inc. of Van Buren on Thursday reported a wider first-quarter net loss as revenue per mile declined and the number of unmanned tractors increased in its trucking segment.

The publicly traded dry van truckload carrier said its first-quarter net loss reached $4.9 million or 47 cents per share, a bigger loss than the $2.7 million or 26 cents per share loss it reported during the same quarter last year.

Those results came on lower base revenue, $97.8 million versus $99.7 million during the same quarter last year.

Cliff Beckham, president and CEO, called the company’s first-quarter results “mixed,” citing improvement in the company’s miles per tractor per week and loads per tractor per week, but also a spike in its unmanned tractor count, which rose “sharply” in February and March.

“All-in-all, the pace of improvement in our one-way domestic truckload business is behind our expectations,” Beckham said. “We are not yet achieving optimal operating efficiencies from our network which we must attain in order to most effectively improve yield and profitability.”

Beckham said the company had noted its challenges and pushed expectations for improvement over 2011 into the second half of the year.