Forward Air Reports Revenue, Earnings Records for Q1
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Forward Air Corp. set all-time quarterly records for revenue, net income and earnings per diluted share during the first quarter, the company reported April 27.
The Greeneville, Tenn.-based ground transportation and logistics services provider posted net income of $42.7 million, or $1.57 a diluted share, for the three months ending March 31. That represents a 155% increase compared with $16.7 million, 60 cents, during the 2021 period. Total operating revenue increased 28.9% to a record $467 million compared with $362.2 million.
The results surpassed Wall Street analysts’ expectations of $1.52 per share and quarterly revenue of $453.6 million, according to Zacks Consensus Estimate.
“First things first, congratulations to all our drivers, teammates and our business partners for making the best quarter ever happen,” Forward Air CEO Tom Schmitt said during a conference call with investors, “and finishing the quarter with a March that was the best month in the history of our company. In March we also had — in our core LTL business — three of the highest tonnage weeks in the company’s history. So lots of momentum.”
Schmitt attributed the results to a commitment to precision execution combined with a positive economy that drove strong demand. He added that higher quality freight in the network contributed to record revenue per shipment for the LTL business.
“We started selling to smaller, medium-size businesses direct,” Schmitt said. “This is not a huge business yet — it may be $20 million or so in revenue this year — but it’s highly profitable, and we expect it to be a hundred-million-dollar-plus business in the next one to three years. That’s our intention.”
Schmitt added that Forward Air started to see a resurgence in its events-based business last year. This includes conferences, trade show, concerts, tours and cruise lines. He expects momentum to continue as more live events come back.
“This drive and penetration into our events business, bringing back more small and medium-size businesses, also means we are building out our footprint because we need to,” Schmitt said. “[The] last couple of years we added terminals in smaller markets. And later this year, Q3 or Q4, two large terminals are coming on line — Atlanta No. 2 and Chicago No. 3. And we’re going to continue building our terminal footprint, both in secondary markets and also large terminals in our primary markets.”
Expedited freight revenue in Q1 rose 23.8% to $376.6 million compared with $304.2 million last year. Income from operations increased 94.4% to $47.7 million from $24.5 million. Revenue per shipment climbed 52.2% to $265.23 from $174.30.
The segment includes network, truckload and final-mile operations. Across the three, network revenue rose 36.3% to $243.4 million from $178.6 million, while truckload revenue gained 6.7% to $55.9 million from $52.4 million. Final-mile revenue was up 5.6% to $465.8 million from $62.3 million.
Intermodal revenue soared 54.6% to $90.4 million from $58.5 million year-over-year. Income from operations jumped 147.2% to $11.1 million from $4.51 million. The segment experienced a 1.8% decrease in drayage shipments to 88,312 from 89,909, but that was more than offset by a 60.9% increase in revenue per shipment at $890 from $553 during the prior-year quarter.
Forward Air ranks No. 33 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America and No. 1 on the air/expedited sector list.
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