J.B. Hunt Transport Services
), the fourth-largest U.S. truckload carrier, reported fourth
quarter 2012 earnings of 70 cents per share, which came in line
with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Earnings per share grew 11.1%
from adjusted earnings of 63 in the year-ago quarter on higher
revenues and effective cost controls measures.
For the full year, the company reported earnings of $2.59, up
22.7% year over year.
Total revenue increased 11.1% year over year to $1.34 billion,
beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.30 billion. The
year-over-year growth was aided by higher shipment in most of the
segments alongside continued growth in fuel surcharge revenues.
Revenue for the year increased 11.7% year over year to $5.1
Operating income for the quarter leaped 17.2% year over year to
$143.3 million attributable to strong profits in three segments
-- Intermodal, Dedicated Contract Services and Integrated
Capacity Solutions. For full-year 2012, operating income
increased 19.4% year over year to $530.2 million
reported quarterly revenues of $821 million, up 13% year over
year driven by an 11% increase in load count. The average tractor
count increased to 3,582 from 3,109 in the year-ago quarter.
Operating income climbed 24% year over year to $104.2 million
Dedicated Contract Services
revenues grew 9% year over year to $284 million in the fourth
quarter. The average truck count was 5,294 against 4,915 in the
year-ago quarter. Operating income upped 7% year over year to
$29.4 million on increased asset utilization and productivity
revenues plunged 12.0% year over year to $133 million. The
average tractor count reduced to 2,258 from 2,597 in the year-ago
quarter. Rates continued to improve and registered a
year-over-year growth of 8.9% in the quarter. The average length
of haul decreased 10.7%. Operating income decreased 27% year over
year to $5.2 million.
Integrated Capacity Solutions
revenues grew 30.0% year over year to $129 million attributable
to a 47% increase in load volume and higher pricing, mostly on
transactional businesses. Operating income increased 13% year
over year to $4.6 million. On a year-over-year basis, the carrier
base rose 12.2% and employee count grew 18%.
At the end of 2012, cash and cash equivalents increased to $5,589
million from $5,450 million at year-end 2011. Total debt was $585
million compared with $699.2 million at the end of 2011. Capital
expenditures in 2012 were $369.7 million compared with $446
million at the end of 2011.
At the end of 2012, the company has a total share repurchase
authorization of $453 million.
Other stocks worth considering within the sector are
Marten Transport Ltd.
), which holds a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy),
Covenant Transportation Group, Inc.
Forward Air Corp.
). Both these stocks have a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
We believe J.B. Hunt continues to gain market share across all
segments, particularly in Intermodal, Dedicated Contract Services
and Integrated Capacity Solutions that delivered strong results.
Further, effective cost control and continued freight rate gains
However, the company faces intense competition. Additionally,
tightening of capacity in the Truck market amid truckload
conversion to rail intermodal may affect the company's
COVENANT TRANS (CVTI): Free Stock Analysis
FORWARD AIR CRP (FWRD): Free Stock Analysis
HUNT (JB) TRANS (JBHT): Free Stock Analysis
MARTEN TRANS (MRTN): Free Stock Analysis
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J.B. Hunt currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).