The second quarter of 2018 marked the fourth consecutive quarter of being in the black for Van Buren-based USA Truck. Second quarter income was $2.544 million, much better than the $2.846 million loss in the same quarter of 2017. Earnings per share of 31 cents beat the consensus estimate of 28 cents.
Revenue during the quarter was $135.381 million, up 26.1% compared to the $107.358 million in the same quarter of 2017. The trucking and logistics company reported earnings Thursday (July 26) after the markets closed.
“USA Truck maintained momentum through the second quarter of 2018, delivering the fourth consecutive quarter of consolidated profitability, as well as producing positive operating income in both the Trucking and Logistics segments,” USA Truck President and CEO James Reed said in the earnings report. “We remain focused on seating trucks, improving base revenue per available tractor per week and increasing volume in our USAT Logistics segment. We believe increased performance in these areas will continue to deliver on our goals of continued improvement in our consolidated results and maximizing shareholder value.”
For the first half of 2018, USA Truck posted net income of $3.574 million, a wide swing from the $7.736 million loss carried in the first half of 2017. Revenue in the first half of the year was $260.394 million, up over the $209.028 million in the same period of 2017.
Revenue in the trucking segment during the first half of 2018 was $164.302 million, up 15.8% compared to the same period in 2017. Operating income in the segment was $1.689 million in the first half, better than the $11.971 million operating income loss in the same period of 2017. Much of that growth was from a healthy increase in base revenue metrics.
“Base revenue per available tractor per week increased $564 per week, or 19.5%, when compared to the second quarter of 2017, and increased $203 per week, or 6.3% sequentially over the first quarter of 2018,” the company noted in the earnings report. “Base revenue per loaded mile increased 21.7% to $2.145 for second quarter 2018 from $1.762 in second quarter 2017. This continues a trend of sequential and year-over-year increases that began mid-2017 with focused network and rate improvement efforts.”
Revenue in USAT Logistics during the first half of 2018 was $96.092 million, up 43% compared with the same period in 2017. Operating income in the segment during the first half was $5.014 million, almost double the $2.606 million in the same period of 2017. The company noted in the report that results during the second quarter could have been better but the company honored existing contracts set at lower rates rather than “abandoning commitments and purely pursuing spot market transactions.”
“We believe building a strategic partnership with our core customers will enable USAT Logistics to grow volume and market share over the long term,” the company noted.
Following are other notes included in the earnings report.
• Loaded miles per available tractor per week decreased 29 miles per tractor, or 1.8%, when compared to the second quarter of 2017.
• The average seated tractor count for the second quarter of 2018 was 1,558, which represented a 1.6% decrease compared to our second quarter 2017 average of 1,584.
• Base revenue per loaded mile during the first half of 2018 was $2.078, up from $1.751 in the first half of 2017.
• Revenue per load in the logistics segment increased 31.7%, or $399 per load, year-over-year, and fell 5%, or $88 per load, compared with the first quarter of 2018.
USA Truck shares (NASDAQ: USAK) closed Thursday at $20.75, down 81 cents. During the past 52 weeks the share price has ranged between $29.15 and $7.98.