Expeditors International of Washington Inc.EXPD reported dismal first-quarter 2016 results, with earnings and revenues missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate. The transportation company's first-quarter earnings of $0.53 per share fell short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2 cents. Earnings also declined 4% on a year-over-year basis.
Total revenue of $1.42 billion fell short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of approximately $1.58 billion. Revenues also declined 15% from the year-ago figure. Soft air freight and ocean freight revenues hurt the top line in the first quarter of 2016. The lackluster earnings report disappointed investors resulting in a downward movement of shares in early trading.
Gross profit (net revenue) decreased 2% year over year in the first quarter to $517 million. Gross margin (yield) improved to 36.5% from 31.6% in the year-ago quarter. Airfreight tonnage volume decreased 9% compared with the year-ago quarter. Furthermore, ocean container volume saw a reduction of 3% in the reported quarter.
Expeditors exited the quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $1 billion compared with $807.8 million at the end of 2015. The first quarter of 2016 saw the company buying back 1.5 million shares at an average price of $47.79 per share.
Airfreight Services revenues declined 20.7% year over year to $560.8 million in the first quarter. Ocean Freight and Ocean Services revenues decreased 19.7% year over year to $454.2 million. Customs Brokerage and Other Services revenues declined 2.6 % year over year to approximately $403.4 million.
We are disappointed by the company's below-par performance in the quarter. However, the earnings miss comes after six successive quarterly earnings beats. We believe that the strength in the airfreight business, led by growing trade between the U.S. and China, places the company favorably in the freight forwarding and customer brokerage business. Furthermore, we are encouraged by the company's efforts to reward shareholders through dividend payments and buybacks.
Zacks Rank & Key Picks
Currently, Expeditors has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked stocks in the transportation sector include Air France-KLM SA AFLYY , SkyWest Inc. SKYW and Student Transportation Inc. STB . All the three stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
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