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February 8, 2017 12:00 PM, EST

ArcBest Remains Profitable, But Earnings Dip From 2015 Level

ArcBest Corp.

ArcBest Corp. remained profitable for both the fourth quarter and all of 2016 but at lower levels than the year before, the Fort Smith, Arkansas, carrier said Feb. 8.

While revenue rose year-over-year for the quarter and the 12 months, so did expenses at a higher rate, thereby driving down profits.

For the quarter, the company posted net income of $1.58 million, or 6 cents a share, on revenue of $688.2 million. In contrast, ArcBest earned $4.99 million, or 19 cents, on revenue of $648.1 million during the last three months of 2015.

The company ranks No. 12 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of for-hire carriers, and its largest subsidiary is less-than-truckload carrier ABF Freight.

The LTL unit “experienced higher average daily revenue resulting from increased revenue per hundredweight, positively impacted by freight profile changes,” the company said in its earning statement.

“In the midst of a competitive but rational industry yield environment, ArcBest’s asset-based pricing remained disciplined,” the company said. For the quarter, shipments grew faster than tonnage, meaning the average weight and revenue per shipment decreased relative to the fourth quarter of 2015.

Quarterly operating ratio at ABF deteriorated year-over-year to 98.5 from 98.3. For the year, it moved to 98.2 from 96.7. Operating ratio measures expenses as a percentage of revenue.

The company’s other major divisions are asset-light ArcBest, which does expedited, moving and logistics work, and FleetNet America, a third-party provider of maintenance services.

ArcBest asset-light posted a quarterly loss, but ABF and FleetNet were profitable.

For the year, ArcBest earned $18.7 million, or 71 cents a share, on revenue of $2.7 billion. In 2105, net income was $44.9 million, or $1.67, on revenue of $2.67 billion.