USA Truck reported first-quarter 2018 net income of $1 million, or 13 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $4.9 million, or minus 61 cents a share, in the first quarter of 2017.
Operating revenue for the period rose 23%, to $125 million from $101.7 million.
USA Truck’s first-quarter 2018 operating ratio was 98.1%, compared with 106.3% a year ago.
The Van Buren, Ark.-based truckload carrier reported its trucking division generated operating revenue of $87.7 million, a 12% rise from $70.3 million. The division’s operating loss of $464,000 was a turnaround from the $7.1 million lost in the first quarter last year.
The base revenue per loaded mile jumped nearly 16%, to slightly more than $2 from $1.70, and the base revenue per available tractor per week rose 13%, to $3,246 from $2,875.
The average number of seated tractors was virtually flat at 1,534 compared with 1,563, while the average number of in-service tractors declined to 1,654 from 1,704.
Operating revenue at the logistics division was $46.3 million, up more than 47%, or $14.9 million, from $31.4 million a year ago. Operating income jumped nearly 400% to $2.9 million from $729,000. The company attributed the improvement to a more than 45% increase in revenue per load and a 1.5% increase in load volume.
“While we benefited in the quarter from a tightening capacity environment and strong underlying economic drivers, we also experienced unusually challenging weather, an increasingly difficult driver recruiting environment, rising fuel prices and correspondingly tight asset-light capacity,” CEO James Reed said.