ArcBest net income up 77.8% in 2020, revenue declines

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 286 views 

A strong fourth quarter in which tonnage shipped per day was up almost 8% helped Fort Smith-based ArcBest post 2020 net income of $71.1 million, up 77.8% compared with the $39.985 million in 2019. Full-year revenue was $2.94 billion, down from $2.988 billion in 2019.

ArcBest, a shipping and logistics company, posted a fourth-quarter net income of $23.914 million, or 89 cents per share, better than the $5.549 million loss in the same quarter of 2019. The per-share earnings were below the consensus estimate of 92 cents. But after adjusting for a $6.285 million income tax provision in the quarter, per-share earnings were 97 cents, better than the consensus estimate. The 2019 fourth-quarter results included a non-cash impairment charge of $26.5 million.

Fourth-quarter revenue of $816.414 million was better than the $717.418 million in the same quarter of 2019 and above the consensus estimate of $800.12 million.

“The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was unpredictable, and 2020 was a very challenging year for our customers and our employees,” ArcBest Chairman, President and CEO Judy McReynolds said in the earnings report. “Our execution during this unprecedented period is worth noting. As an essential business, our logistics solutions are aiding our customers and our society as we all navigate an uncertain event. I’m very proud of the way our employees are responding to customers’ needs for changes and continuing to strengthen our relationships while being flexible and adaptive.”

ABF Freight, the largest subsidiary of ArcBest and one of the nation’s largest less-than-truckload carriers, posted 2020 revenue of $2.092 billion, below the $2.144 billion in 2019. 2020 operating income was $98.865 million, below the $102.061 million in 2019.

Fourth-quarter revenue for ABF was $554.392 million, better than the $513.331 million in the 2019 quarter. The fourth-quarter operating income was $27.943 million, well ahead of the $20.546 million in the same quarter of 2019.

Tonnage shipped by ABF during the year totaled 3.035 million tons, up 0.2% from the 3.028 million in 2019. Tonnage shipped in the fourth quarter totaled 773,915, up 7.8% from the 717,708 in the 2019 quarter. Billed revenue per hundredweight, a closely watched metric in the shipping industry, averaged $34.60 in 2020, down from $35.44 in 2019. Total shipments handled by ABF in 2020 totaled 4.756 million, down from 4.928 million in 2019.

Full-year revenue at ArcBest Logistics was $779.115 million, better than the $738.392 million in 2019. 2020 logistics operating income was $9.655 million, better than the $20.189 million loss – tied to the non-cash impairment charge of $26.5 million – in 2019. Fourth-quarter revenue at ArcBest Logistics was $245.579 million, better than the $184.257 million in the 2019 quarter. Fourth-quarter operating income in the segment was $4.93 million, up from the $26.493 million loss in the same quarter of 2019.

Full-year revenue at FleetNet, a subsidiary that provides maintenance services, was $205.049 million, down from $211.738 million in 2019. Full-year operating income was $3.367 million, down from $4.806 million in 2019. Fourth-quarter segment revenue was $55.625 million, up from $52.781 million, in the same quarter of 2019. The fourth-quarter operating income in the segment was $558,000, down from $1.121 million in the same quarter of 2019.

Company shares (NASDAQ: ARCB) closed Tuesday at $47.43, down 29 cents. During the past 52 weeks, the share price ranged between $50.39 and $13.54.

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