Expeditors International of Washington Inc. 's ( EXPD ) fourth-quarter 2014 earnings of 51 cents per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2 cents. Higher-than-expected revenues led to the earnings beat. Moreover, earnings were 24% higher than the year-ago figure. The earnings beat pleased investors. Consequently, the stock gained in early trading.
Total revenue of $1.77 billion was marginally ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.75 billion. Strong air freight and ocean freight revenues boosted the top line in the final quarter of 2014.
Gross profit (net revenue) increased 8.5% year over year in the fourth quarter to $518.9 million. Gross margin (yield) was 29.3%, flat year-over-year.
Airfreight Services revenues improved 5.1% year over year to $780 million in the fourth quarter. Ocean Freight and Ocean Services revenues increased 14.7% year over year to $568.3 million. Customs Brokerage and Other Services revenues rose 8.4% year over year to $420.6 million.
Expeditors exited 2014 with cash and cash equivalents of $927.1 million as compared to $1,247.6 million in 2013. Operating cash flows were $395 million for the year ended Dec 31, 2014 compared with $407.5 million at the end of 2013.
The company paid a semi-annual cash dividend of 32 cents per share on Dec 15, 2014 to shareholders of record as of Dec 1.
For full-year 2014, the logistics company reported earnings of $1.92 per share, up 14% from 2013. Total revenue for the year climbed 8% to $6.57 billion. Gross profit increased 5.2% in 2014 to $1,981.4 million. Gross margin for the year was 30.2%, down from 31% in 2013.
Currently, Expeditors carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Some other stocks also worth considering in the broader transportation space include Celadon Group Inc. ( CGI ), Covenant Transportation Group Inc. ( CVTI ) and Knight Transportation Inc. ( KNX ). All the three stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
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