J.B. Hunt exceeds expectations for revenue, earnings in third quarter

by Jeff Della Rosa ([email protected]) 286 views 

Lowell-based carrier J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. posted double-digit gains in earnings and revenue in the third quarter amid strong freight demand and tight capacity.

Before the markets opened Friday (Oct. 15), J.B. Hunt reported net income rose 59.2% to $199.83 million, or $1.88 per share, in the third quarter, from $125.5 million, or $1.18 per share, in the same period in 2020. Revenue rose 27.2% to $3.14 billion, from $2.47 billion.

J.B. Hunt beat earnings expectations of $1.77 per share, based on a consensus of 19 analysts. It beat revenue expectations of $3.01 billion.

In a research brief, analysts Justin Long and Jack Atkins, and associates George Sellers and Cameron Hoglund, all of Little Rock-based Stephens Inc., said the better than expected results could be attributed to the carrier’s top-line results, a 4% beat, and operating margins, a beat of 0.1 percentage points.

“Overall, this looks like a solid quarter in a tough, capacity-constrained environment that is weighing on volumes and network fluidity,” the analysts said. “Looking ahead to 2022, we remain confident in favorable pricing dynamics and an acceleration of volume growth.”

The analysts maintained an overweight, or buy, rating for the stock.

Through three quarters, J.B. Hunt’s earnings increased by 47.3% to $518.6 million, or $4.86 per share, from $352.03 million, or $3.30 per share, in the same period in 2020. Over the same period, revenue rose 25.7% to $8.67 billion, from $6.9 billion.

Total freight transactions on digital platform Marketplace for J.B. Hunt 360 increased to $518 million in the third quarter, from $358 million in the same period in 2020.

Shares of J.B. Hunt (NASDAQ: JBHT) closed Thursday (Oct. 14) at $175.24, up $3.88 or 2.26%. In the past 52 weeks, the stock has ranged between $184.38 and $119.22.

Following are results by segment, which all reported double-digit revenue growth:

INTERMODAL
Operating income increased 52% to $165.1 million in the third quarter, from $108.41 million in the same period in 2020. Revenue increased 17% to $1.41 billion, from $1.21 billion. The segment accounted for 60% of the carrier’s operating income and 45% of its revenue.

DEDICATED
Operating income fell 3% to $78.13 million in the third quarter, from $80.43 million in the same period in 2020. Revenue rose 20% to $664.77 million, from $552.95 million. The segment accounted for 29% of the carrier’s operating income and 21% of its revenue.

BROKERAGE
Operating income was $14.75 million in the third quarter, compared to a loss of $18.3 million in the same period in 2020. Revenue rose 55% to $666.22 million, from $431.14 million. The segment accounted for 5% of the carrier’s operating income and 21% of its revenue.

FINAL MILE SERVICES
Operating income fell 39% to $1.28 million in the third quarter, from $2.09 million in the same period in 2020. Revenue rose 13% to $205.9 million, from $182.09 million.

TRUCKLOAD
Operating income rose 397% to $14.66 million in the third quarter, from $2.95 million in the same period in 2020. Revenue increased 87% to $203.6 million, from $109.11 million.