J.B. Hunt’s 2Q Earnings More Than Double

TT File Photo

J.B. Hunt Transport Services said its second-quarter profit more than doubled on higher freight and a stronger economy.

The carrier’s net earnings rose to $52.1 million, or 40 cents a share, from $24 million, or 19 cents, a year ago. Revenue rose 22% to $943 million, J.B. Hunt said late Thursday.

The previous year’s second quarter had included a pretax charge of $10.3 million, or 5 cents per share, to write down the value of certain tractors held for sale.

Operating income rose to $91.3 million, from $47.1 million, due to a 54% increase in intermodal income, a 177% increase in dedicated contract services income and positive truck segment operating income that turned around a loss from last year.

Truck segment operating income was $7.2 million, versus a loss of $4 million a year ago. Revenue rose 15% to $125 million.

Intermodal segment operating income rose 54% to $59.5 million, while revenue rose 24% to $526 million.

Dedicated contract services operating income rose 177% to $22.3 million, while revenue rose 31% to $229 million.

“Demand for transportation services has increased fairly dramatically as we have emerged from a multi-year freight recession,” Chief Executive Officer Kirk Thompson said in a statement.

“Scarcity of capacity in intermodal, truckload and brokerage markets was quite pronounced . . . [and] we saw our business improve sequentially throughout the quarter as reflected in higher prices in intermodal and truck as the quarter unfolded,” he said.

Intermodal pricing was down 2.7% from the second quarter of last year, but increased 2.4% from April to June of this year, while truck pricing trends were even more evident, with mileage rates improving 8.3% in the quarter, Thompson added.

J.B. Hunt is ranked No.8 on the Transport Topics 100 listing of U.S. and Canadian for-hire carriers.