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Heartland Express posted overall financial gains despite declining second-quarter revenue, the company reported on July 19.
The North Liberty, Iowa-based truckloader reported net income of $ 20.7 million, or 26 cents per diluted share, for the three months ending June 30. This compared to $ 19.2 million, 24 cents, in the same period the year before. Total operating revenue decreased 4.2% to $ 154.1 million from $ 160.9 million in the prior year quarter.
The results were close to Wall Street’s expectations. Analysts were looking for 26 cents per share but quarterly revenue of $ 169.3 million, according to Zacks Consensus Estimate.
“Freight demand continued to be strong throughout the second quarter of 2021 and is expected to remain strong for the remainder of 2021,” Heartland CEO Mike Gerdin said in a statement. “We also believe that hiring and retaining safe and professional drivers will be the # 1 challenge in order to take full advantage of the expected freight demand. “
Gerdin added that the operating results were strong in terms of earnings, overall operational efficiency and debt free cash flow. The report showed that the cash balance increased by $ 19 million in the last quarter to reach $ 167.2 million.
“We have increased salaries and improved the compensation characteristics of our drivers several times over the past nine months,” said Gerdin. “In addition, we have continued to be more creative in offering better wages, benefits, equipment and facilities to our drivers. While this same employment challenge faces many businesses in America today, we believe it is more pronounced within our industry.
“In light of this, we intend to continue investing in our engines and creative strategies to address this important challenge in the months to come. “
Revenue increased another $ 1.7 million sequentially from the prior quarter despite the year-over-year decline. The report also pointed out that operating profit rose 9.5% to $ 27.4 million from $ 25 million in the quarter of the previous year.
“We were able to improve our operating profit and control our costs to achieve an operating ratio of 82.3%,” said Gerdin. “The delivered operating ratio was also better sequentially compared to the first quarter of 2021 and our best consolidated operating ratio delivered since the third quarter of 2019.”
The report showed that most operating expenses for the second quarter went to salaries, wages and benefits at $ 62,931, compared to $ 68,147 in the previous year’s quarter. Depreciation accounted for $ 25,956 of these expenses, compared to $ 27,168 last year. Fuel comes next at $ 24,804, compared to $ 18,287.
Heartland Express is ranked 56th on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America.
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