LOWELL, Ark. — J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. said Wednesday that its first-quarter profit rose 21.9 percent as it benefited from more truck-to-rail traffic and a profit in truck shipments.
Profits grew despite “significantly lower” freight rates, the company said.
Hunt said it earned $37.5 million, or 29 cents perp share, for the quarter that ended March 31. That was up from $30.8 million, or 24 cents per share, during the same period a year earlier.
Revenue rose 16.9 percent to $844.7 million, from $722.8 million a year earlier.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters were expecting a profit of almost 27 cents per share on revenue of $797.2 million.
President and CEO Kirk Thompson said the company is starting to see “moderate volume improvements” in the current quarter. He attributed that partly to customers stocking up inventory, and partly to a shrinkage of transportation capacity. Spot market rates have increased, which in the past has led to higher rates on contracts, too, he said.
J.B. Hunt shares rose 27 cents to $37.32 trading after markets closed Wednesday.
Kevin Jones of The Trucker staff can be reached for comment at email@example.com.
Follow The Trucker on Twitter at www.twitter.com/truckertalk