John Roberts, president and CEO of J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc., highlighted the carrier’s three priorities in its annual shareholders’ meeting on Thursday (April 28) at the company’s headquarters in Lowell.
Shareholders approved three items in the 27-minute meeting, including the reelection of the company’s 11 directors, an advisory vote on executive pay and the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as the company’s independent registered public accounting firm for 2022.
Directors re-elected for a one-year term are: Douglas Duncan, Francesca Edwardson, Wayne Garrison, Sharilyn Gasaway, Gary George, Thad Hill, Bryan Hunt, Gale King, Roberts, James Robo and chairman Kirk Thompson.
The formal segment of the meeting, which included the voting, took about 10 minutes. It was followed by a 17-minute presentation by Roberts.
The company’s three priorities regarded employees, technology and capacity. Roberts said the No. 1 priority is its employees and praised how they came to work in person amid the COVID-19 pandemic. He said the company’s jobs are not remote but in the field.
He said J.B. Hunt will study its benefits and job types and ensure the company remains current. He added that the company recently opened its inclusion office.
Concerning technology, he said the 5-year-old technology platform J.B. Hunt 360 was responsible for more than $2 billion in sales in 2021. The platform comprises nearly 150,000 carriers, he said.
On capacity, Roberts pointed to the company’s $1.5 billion in capital expenditures planned for this year and the recent announcement to expand its container fleet by up to 150,000 containers in the next three to five years as part of a joint initiative with Fort Worth, Texas-based BNSF Railway Co. He also noted plans to expand the capacity of its 360box service. It launched in 2019 as a trailer pool and drop-and-hook service for businesses and carriers.
He said the company’s business is well-positioned and looks to accelerate its growth.
On April 18, J.B. Hunt reported that first-quarter earnings rose by 65.9% to $243.32 million, from $146.6 million in the same period in 2021. Revenue increased by 33.2% to $3.48 billion, from $2.61 billion.
Shares of J.B. Hunt (NASDAQ: JBHT) were trading Thursday at $174.38, up $2.57 or 1.5%. In the past 52 weeks, the stock has ranged between $155.11 and $218.18.
Also Thursday, J.B. Hunt announced it will pay a cash dividend of 40 cents per share on May 27 to stockholders of record as of May 13. The dividend is the same as the previous quarterly dividend that was paid in February.