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J.B. Hunt Transport Services posted increased earnings and revenue in the third quarter year-over-year, the carrier announced Oct. 16.
The Lowell, Ark.-based transportation and logistics company posted net income of $125.5 million, or $1.18 a diluted share, for the three months ending Sept. 30. That marks a 7% increase from $118.4 million, or $1.10 a share, during the 2019 period.
Total operating revenue increased by 4.6% to $2.47 billion from $2.36 billion the prior year.
Results were mixed in terms of analysts’ projections. Wall Street was looking for $1.22 per share and quarterly revenue of $2.35 billion, according to Zacks Consensus Estimate.
Operating income totaled $175.5 million compared with $167.9 million for the third quarter of 2019. The previous year’s operating income, however, included $44.2 million in pre-tax charges related to the final award in the arbitration with BNSF Railway Co.
J.B. Hunt noted in the report that the revenue performance primarily was driven by a 25% increase in revenue per load in Integrated Capacity Solutions (ICS), a 34% increase in the number of stops in the final-mile segment, a 9% increase in loads for dedicated and a 14% increase in loads in the truckload segment.
These gains were partially offset by a 5% decrease in revenue per load in intermodal and a 32% decline in fuel surcharge revenue.
ICS revenue increased 28% during the quarter to $431 million compared with the same time last year. Volumes and revenue per load increased due to customer freight mix changes and higher contractual and spot rates. Contractual volumes represented approximately 58% of the total load volume and 38% of the total revenue in the quarter.
The J.B. Hunt 360 marketplace helped drive ICS revenue by adding $291 million. This compared with $205 million in Q3 2019. Operating income for the segment worsened over the year to a loss of $18.3 million from a loss of $5.6 million.
The intermodal segment reported that revenue declined by 2% to $1.21 billion. The decrease reflected a 5% drop in revenue per load, which partially was offset by 2% load growth. Overall intermodal volumes increased 2% compared with Q3 of 2019. Eastern network loads grew by 3% while Transcon loads went up 2%. Volumes for the segment were heavily constrained by rail congestion and service issues stemming from a large and sudden increase in demand and intermittent labor challenges in the rail and truck networks.
Operating income for the intermodal segment increased by 22% over the year to $108.4 million. The prior-year third quarter, however, included the charges related to the final award in the BNSF arbitration. Excluding those charges, the operating income was down 18% year-over-year.
Saluting the men and women of the trucking industry who kept America’s essential goods flowing during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Dedicated Contract Services (DCS) segment reported that revenue increased 1% to $553 million compared with the prior-year quarter. Productivity was flat versus the previous year. There was a net additional 63 revenue-producing trucks in the fleet by the end of the quarter compared with the 2019 period. Customer retention rates remain above 97%. Operating income increased 5% over the prior-year quarter to $80.4 million.
The Final Miles Services (FMS) segment reported that revenue increased 22% over the year to $182 million. Stop count within the segment increased 34% during the current quarter compared with the prior year. This primarily was driven by a December 2019 acquisition and the addition of multiple customer contracts implemented throughout 2020. Productivity decreased by approximately 9% compared with the 2019 period. Operating income increased 13% to $2.1 million compared with the prior year.
The truckload segment reported revenue increased by 16% over the year to $109 million. This primarily was driven by a 14% increase in load count and a 5% rise in revenue per load, excluding fuel surcharge revenue, compared with the third quarter of 2019.
Operating income for the truckload segment decreased 55% to $2.9 million compared with the prior year. The benefits from increased load counts were offset by hikes in purchased transportation expense along with higher personnel cost and increased investment in technology.
J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. ranks No. 4 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America. It also ranks No. 4 on the Transport Topics Top 50 list of the largest logistics companies in North America.
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