May 4, 2021 12:00 PM, EDT

ArcBest Reports Record Revenue for Q1 2021

ArcBestJohn Sommers II for Transport Topics

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ArcBest saw earnings increase and record revenue during the first quarter, the company reported May 4.

The Fort Smith, Ark.-based logistics company posted net income of $23.4 million, or 87 cents a diluted share, for the three months ending March 31. That compared with $1.9 million, or 7 cents, during the same time the previous year.

The total revenue increased by 18% to a record of $829.2 million from $701.4 million.

“We’re pleased to report our best-ever operating income for the first quarter as well as increased revenue and profitability in what is historically the most challenging quarter of the year,” ArcBest CEO Judy McReynolds said in a statement. “These strong results reflect our ability to create solutions to support our customers as they continue to face supply chain challenges associated with their rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic.”


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The results were ahead of expectations by investment analysts on Wall Street, which had been looking for 59 cents per share and quarterly revenue of $810.6 million, according to Zacks Consensus Estimate.

ArcBest also said in the earnings report that its operating income for the quarter hit an all-time high. It increased 75.8% to $32.2 million compared with the same prior-year quarter of $7.8 million.

The asset-based segment reported quarterly revenue gains of 7.9% to $556.3 million from $515.7 million during the same time last year. Operating income increased 56.1% to $30.1 million from $13.2 million last year. The segment results were driven by greater demand by shippers who are seeing improving trends such as unseasonal strength in the housing market and a shift in buyer demand due to the coronavirus pandemic — despite adverse effects from the winter storms.

Total asset-based shipments per day increased by 2.6%. That includes a 3% increase in less-than-truckload rated shipments per day and an increase of 2.6% in LTL-rated weight per shipment which was positively impacted by first quarter freight mix changes. Total billed revenue per hundredweight increased 8.8% despite being negatively impacted by lower fuel surcharges.

The asset-light segment reported quarterly revenue increased 30.3% to $311.5 million from $217.2 million during the prior-year quarter. Operating income increased to $9.3 million compared to an operating loss of $400,000 last year. The segment revenue growth was the result of continuing strength in customer demand combined with limited availability of equipment capacity driving up rates.

ArcBest ranks No. 14 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America.

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