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Saia shares leap near year high after surge in 1st-qtr profit

Saia's overall tonnage rose 2.5 percent in the quarter. Average weight per shipment — another key indication of improving demand — rose 3.1 percent.

The Associated Press

4/30/2012

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. —Shares of trucking company Saia Inc.were boosted Friday after the company reported significantly higher first-quarter results driven by higher demand and better prices.

The company earned $5.5 million, or 34 cents per share, in the first quarter, typically the weakest for trucking companies. That's compared with year-ago earnings of $713,000, or 4 cents per share.

Revenue rose 11 percent to $268.7 million.

Analysts polled by FactSet had expected a profit of 19 cents per share on revenue of $272.8 million.

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Overall tonnage rose 2.5 percent in the quarter. Average weight per shipment — another key indication of improving demand — rose 3.1 percent.

Saia's yield, which is revenue divided by weight hauled, jumped 8.1 percent on higher prices and fuel charges it passes onto customers. Saia is primarily a less-than-truckload carrier, which means it consolidates freight from multiple shippers into a single haul,

The stock rose 7.5 percent in afternoon trading, a gain of $1.25, to hit $18. It's near its year high of $18.37.

Kevin Jones of The Trucker staff can be reached for comment at kevinj@thetrucker.com.

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