August 9, 2017 10:30 AM, EDT

Daseke Loses Money for Second Straight Quarter; CEO Still Optimistic About Future

Don DasekeJohn Sommers II for Transport Topics

Daseke Inc. lost $3.6 million in the second quarter, marking the second consecutive quarter in the red after the flatbed carrier joined Wall Street in February, but CEO Don Daseke remained upbeat about future growth.

On a per-share basis, Daseke shed 15 cents. One year ago, as a private company, Daseke made $1 million.

On a positive note, revenue grew 16% to $197.3 million. Freight business, which accounts for about 80% of total revenue, reported a 9.4% increase in revenue year-over-year to $149.7 million. Brokerage and logistics made up about 11% of the revenue, and fuel surcharges accounted for the rest.

However, expenses jumped 18% to $192.9 million and washed away all the top-line growth. Daseke spent $1 million in acquisition-related transaction expenses, and administrative expenses grew $3 million to $8 million total for the quarter.

Daseke touted the sequential improvement after losing $3.7 million in the first quarter, or 14 cents, and generated $165 million in revenue.

“As expected, we saw sequential improvement in our second-quarter 2017 results versus the first quarter of 2017, with improvements in revenue, net loss and Adjusted EBITDA, which we believe presents an accurate snapshot of our performance trend and growth,” the chairman and CEO said.

“We anticipate that rates will continue to improve throughout 2017, with much of the recovery expected to occur in the third and fourth quarters.”

Revenue in the flatbed solutions division went up 5.8% to $86.9 million, and operating income improved 18% to $6.3 million. However, total miles driven dropped 2.1% to 38.2 million in the second quarter.

The specialized solutions division posted revenue of $112 million for the 2017 second quarter, up 25%. Operating income for the segment was $4.6 million compared with $5.1 million for the 2016 second quarter. Total miles for the segment rose 24% to 31.4 million in the period.

Through the first half of 2017, Daseke has lost $11.3 million, or 44 cents, compared with a $290 million loss a year ago. Revenue, on the other hand, improved 9.3% to $357.7 million.