Knight Says USA Truck Shows ‘Limited Improvement’
Michael G. Malloy/TT
Knight Transportation Inc. said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that takeover target USA Truck Inc.’s “recent financial results demonstrate only limited improvement and that its recent share price surge is unsupported by either industry or company specific fundamentals.”
The Phoenix-based company in late September offered $9 a share for USA Truck, whose shares have risen above $12 after the offer was rejected.
Knight also said that USA Truck had shown only modest financial improvement on a sequential basis, posting a 103.6 operating ratio in the third quarter after 103.8 in the second quarter and posting nine straight quarters of losses.
USA Truck in an Oct. 17 earnings release had a different view of its progress, noting that its revenue rose 13.5% and its loss was reduced by 90% in the third quarter compared with the 2012 period. In that statement, USA Truck said the results were impressive because it was able to raise revenue and rates while adding drivers in a weak business environment.
USA Truck didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment on Knight’s Nov. 4 filing.
Knight on Nov. 4 also said it’s raised its share ownership in USA Truck to 12.4%. Knight this week reiterated its willingness to modestly raise its offer, without saying by how much.
Knight Transportation is No. 31 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of for-hire carriers in the United States and Canada. USA Truck is ranked No. 52.
|By Rip Watson|
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