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Universal Truckload 2Q net income rises on more hauls

Universal Truckload Services also said it will buy LINC Logistics Co. for $182 million.

The Associated Press

7/30/2012

WARREN, Mich. — Trucking brokerage firm Universal Truckload Services Inc. said Thursday that its second-quarter net income jumped 27 percent on improved fleet efficiency and a higher number of loads hauled.

The Warren, Mich., company also said it will buy LINC Logistics Co. for $182 million, based on Universal's closing price Wednesday. Universal's stock gained more than 10 percent in afternoon trading Thursday.

Both companies are already controlled by the Moroun family, which owns numerous transportations businesses and also the Ambassador Bridge between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, one of the nation's busiest border crossings.

Matthew Moroun, chairman of both companies, also indicated his family may sell more shares in the future.

"Although we as a family currently expect to remain controlling shareholders of Universal, we understand that some of our institutional shareholders would prefer additional liquidity, and we may at the appropriate time seek liquidity for a portion of our shares depending on market conditions, investment opportunities, liquidity needs and other factors," Moroun said.

In the second quarter, the company earned $4.99 million, or 32 cents per share, compared with $3.9 million, or 25 cents per share, a year earlier. The most recent quarter included a 2-cent-per-share gain on a sale of securities.

Revenue rose 3 percent to $185.1 million.

Analysts forecast a profit of 30 cents per share on revenue of $190.3 million.

Under the terms of the acquisition, Universal will issue 0.7 shares of its stock for each of LINC's outstanding shares, resulting in the issuance of 14.5 million shares. Universal expects the acquisition will boost its earnings by at least 20 percent next year.

The deal still needs regulatory approval. LINC is also based in Warren, Mich. After the deal closes. LINC President and CEO Scott Wolfe is expected to be CEO of the combined companies.

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

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