Heartland Profits, Revenue Decline
Truckload carrier Heartland Express remained strongly profitable but less so than a year ago as net income and revenue declined due to a tough pricing environment.
The North Liberty, Iowa, carrier said Jan. 26 that it earned $13.1 million, or 16 cents a share, on quarterly revenue of $140 million. At the end of 2015, it generated net income of $17 million, or 20 cents, on revenue of $174.6 million.
Heartland ranks No. 41 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest U.S. and Canadian for-hire carriers.
“These results were achieved even though our top-line revenue was challenged by significant pricing pressure from shippers attempting to capitalize on short-term excess capacity in the industry," Heartland CEO Michael Gerdin said of the fourth-quarter challenge. "When faced with short-term industry challenges, we chose to focus internally on our operations to allow us to deliver the highest level of service while still operating profitably to generate incremental cash reserves."
Operating ratio — expenses as a percentage of revenue — again remained below the 90% threshold. Year-over-year, it deteriorated to 83.3 for the quarter from 82.3. For the year, it was 84.6 compared with 81.9 in 2015.
For the year, the carrier earned $56.4 million, or 68 cents, on revenue of $612.9 million, compared with $73.1 million, or 84 cents, on 2015 revenue of $736.3 million.