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April 26, 2019 2:15 PM, EDT

Forward Air Reports Record Revenue, Profit in 1Q

Forward Air A Forward Air truck. (John Sommers II for Transport Topics)

Forward Air Corp. reported record revenue and net income when the Greeneville, Tenn.-based carrier announced first-quarter earnings April 24.

Revenue reached a first-quarter high of $321.5 million, up 6.2% from 2018’s $302.6 million. Net income also hit a record, up nearly 4% to $18.4 million or 64 cents per share, compared with $17.7 million and 60 cents a share one year ago.

“Our strong growth fueled our record first quarter results. Consolidated revenues grew 6.2% driven by solid revenue management across the portfolio. Consolidated operating income grew 2.1%, slowed by weather and higher self-insurance costs,” CEO Tom Schmitt said in a statement.

Schmitt’s remarks on the severe weather impacting operations during the first quarter echo those of several other CEOs who said the late January polar vortex which brought record-breaking cold to parts of Canada, the Midwest and East Coast affected operations for about two weeks.

Breaking down results by division, expedited LTL generated operating income of $19.6 million in the first quarter of 2019, a decrease of nearly 5.8% from $20.8 million in 2018. However, revenue rose 5.1%, to $178.6 million from $169.9 million the previous year. The company saw wages and benefits, operating leases, fuel and other operating expenses increase in the LTL sector.

Truckload premium services generated operating income of $900,000 in the first quarter of 2019, which was up from zero profit or loss in the same period of last year.

Revenue fell 2.9% to $44.8 million from $46.1 million.

Intermodal generated operating income of $6.2 million in the first quarter of 2019, up 77% from 2018’s $3.5 million. Revenue climbed 11% to $54.1 million from $48.6 million.

Pool distribution generated operating income of $1.3 million in the first quarter, a drop of more than 7% from $1.4 million in 2018. Revenue increased nearly 11% to $45.2 million from $42.7 million.

Forward Air ranks No. 33 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of largest for-hire carriers in North America and No. 2 on the TT list of top for-hire carriers in the Air/Expedited sector.