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July 19, 2018 2:15 PM, EDT

Heartland Profits Jump 22% in 2Q as Revenue Rises

Heartland Express truck Heartland Express

Heartland Express reported second-quarter net income of $17.8 million, or 22 cents per share, a 22% increase from $14.6 million, or 18 cents, recorded in the second quarter of 2017.

Operating revenue came in at $155.8 million, a 20% rise from $129.6 million a year ago. Revenue included fuel surcharge revenue of $22.4 million compared with $14.7 million a year ago.

Michael Gerdin

Gerdin

North Liberty, Iowa-based Heartland reported operating revenue rose 16.1% excluding the fuel surcharge, primarily due to higher miles driven after the $113 million acquisition of Interstate Distributor Co. in July 2017.

The truckload carrier’s operating ratio was 85.8%, down from 91.7% in the first quarter.

“We delivered our lowest quarterly operating ratio showing continued improvement over the last three quarters following the acquisition along with increased earnings,” Heartland CEO Michael Gerdin said.

The company has increased pay for drivers two times in the past 10 months, for an increase of about $12 million annually, Gerdin said.

Heartland ranks No. 53 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America. It has 6,719 company owned tractors and 19,975 total trailers.