Trucker Knight says first-quarter profit up 6 percent
Knight said it gained market share while pulling in more revenue from its vehicles. One metric, the average revenue per tractor, rose about 10 percent, excluding fuel surcharges.
The Associated Press
PHOENIX — Trucking company Knight Transportation Inc. said Wednesday that first-quarter net income rose 6 percent as the freight market improved.
Net income was $10.5 million, or 13 cents per share, compared with $9.9 million, or 12 cents per share, a year earlier.
The company said that excluding a charge related to stock options given to employees as compensation, it would have earned 18 cents per share. Analysts expected profit of 17 cents, on average, according to FactSet.
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Revenue rose 18 percent to $219.5 million from $186.5 million. Analysts expected $203.8 million.
The company said it gained market share while pulling in more revenue from its vehicles. One metric, the average revenue per tractor, rose about 10 percent, excluding fuel surcharges. It was the ninth straight quarter of better revenue per tractor, Knight said. There were more miles per tractor and more revenue per mile, and the company added vehicles to its fleet. The company finished the quarter with 4,032 tractors, up 4 percent in a year.
Improvement in the trucking industry can reflect a healthier economy. More shipping suggests that there is heavier demand for the goods moving around the country, from consumer goods to parts used in industry and commodities.
Knight said that it expects growth opportunities as the economy strengthens.
The company said high fuel prices and driver shortages continued to be problems. The average price of diesel rose 9.8 percent from a year ago, although surcharges offset most of the increase.
The shares fell 3 cents to close at $16.60 in regular trading before results were released.
Kevin Jones of The Trucker staff can be reached for comment at email@example.com.
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