J.B. Hunt Transport Services announced record third-quarter net earnings of $68.7 million and operating revenue of $1.17 billion, up 19% from a year ago, led by growth in its intermodal business.
The Lowell, Ark., company reported diluted earnings per share of 57 cents vs. third quarter 2010 of 41 cents per diluted share. (Third quarter 2010 results included $4 million of pretax expense related to a commitment to the Arkansas Children’s Hospital, which reduced net earnings by 2 cents per diluted share.)
Total operating revenue for the current quarter was $1.17 billion, up 11% from the $986 million for the third quarter 2010.
All four segments contributed to this increase in operating revenue. Load growth of 15% in Intermodal and 14% in Integrated Capacity Solutions helped drive 24% and 21% increases in segment revenue, respectively. The Dedicated Contract Services segment increased operating revenue by 16%, primarily from new accounts, while Truck segment revenue rose 2% due to higher rates and an increase in fuel surcharges.
Operating income for the current quarter totaled $119 million vs. $91 million for the third quarter 2010. Again, all four segments contributed to this increase in operating income, with intermodal operations accounting for nearly $18 million of the increase.
Net earnings rose 32% to $68.7 million in the current quarter from $52.2 million in 2010, primarily due to the growth of revenue, the reduction in charitable contribution expense and other cost efficiencies. The effective income tax rate for the quarter was 38.5% in both 2011 and 2010.
“Combining the right mix of services and the commitment of our people, we overcame less predictable freight patterns and some weather related events to produce another record quarter,” said John N. Roberts, JBHT President and CEO. “We continued to invest capital in businesses that show resiliency despite the ongoing concern many have expressed about the economy. Intermodal, DCS and ICS all delivered double digit growth year over year in both revenue and operating income, while our Truck business yielded modest growth in both categories.”
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