April 14, 2014 11:00 AM, EDT
Knight Says 1Q Earnings Higher Than Forecast
Bruce Harmon/Trans Pixs

Knight Transportation Inc. said in a preliminary first-quarter earnings statement that its profit for the period exceeded an earlier forecast, reaching 22 to 23 cents per share, as demand and rates improved.

The truckload carrier’s results exceeded its earlier guidance of 19 to 21 cents per share and last year’s first-quarter EPS of 19 cents.

Based on the company’s latest regulatory report, net income was as much as $18.5 million, or more than 20% above the $15.2 million in last year’s first quarter.

“During the quarter, we experienced greater demand for our capacity,” CEO Kevin Knight said in a statement. “This resulted in year-over-year improvement in revenue per tractor and growth in our brokerage business. We have also seen strength in the used-equipment marketplace.”

“As the trucking environment remains strong, we continue to focus on improving production, growing our non-asset based businesses, recruiting and developing driving associates,” Knight added.

Phoenix-based Knight, which is scheduled to release its earnings April 23, ranks No. 31 on the Transport Topics Top 100 listing of the largest U.S. and Canadian for-hire carriers.