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Landstar System Inc. saw third-quarter net income rise to $61.9 million, or $1.61 a diluted share, reflecting a rebound in load hauls for the three months ended Sept. 26.
That compared with $53.3 million, or $1.35 a share, during the prior-year quarter.
Revenue at the Jacksonville, Fla.-based transportation and logistics company increased 9% to $1.09 billion from $1.01 billion.
The improved revenue and diluted earnings per share was primarily the result of sequential increases in the number of loads and revenue per load hauled by truck through September.
“In comparing the 2020 second quarter to the third quarter, demand for our services fluctuated significantly by industry sector,” Landstar CEO Jim Gattoni said. “The growth in revenue was driven by strength in consumer durables, automotive parts, building products and substitute linehaul services.”
The results were better than the expectations of investment analysts on Wall Street, who were looking for $1.43 per share and quarterly revenue of $1.05 billion, according to Zacks Consensus Estimate.
“Landstar entered the 2020 third quarter facing one of the most unpredictable and challenging freight environments in the company’s history,” Gattoni said during a conference call with investors Oct. 22. “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy is far from over. The company’s variable cost business model, highly diversified customer base and geographically dispersed network of independent agents and third-party truck capacity provided resiliency and flexibility to Landstar as we manage through this unprecedented time.”
Gattoni said the dramatic swings in demand throughout the year have been unlike any other period in the history of the company.
“Along with the huge overall swing in demand for truck services we experienced during the 2020 second and third quarters, Landstar experienced an overall increase in demand for service provided via van equipment during the 2020 third quarter,” Gattoni said. “On the flip side in the 2020 third quarter compared to the 2019 third quarter, demand for services provided by unsided equipment remained soft, although improving.”
Landstar said truckload volumes increased 3% during the quarter compared with the year-ago period. Revenue per load increased 5% compared with the previous year.
The report said during the third quarter, approved and active third-party truck carrier count increased approximately 10% compared to the second quarter to over 41,000 carriers.
“In an environment during the 2020 third quarter where U.S. manufacturing production continued to be below prior-year levels, the company’s agent network executed extremely well on obtaining new business and sourcing capacity for businesses that continue to experience volume surge and supply chain disruption,” Gattoni said. Truck transportation revenue hauled by independent business capacity owners and truck brokerage carriers during the quarter was $1.01 billion at 93% of revenue. This compared with $932.2 million during the prior-year quarter at 92% of revenue.
Truckload transportation revenue hauled by van equipment was $666.6 million during the quarter compared to $575 million during the same time last year. Truckload transportation revenue hauled from unsided and platform equipment was $314.5 million compared to $331.8 million last year. Revenue hauled by rail, air and ocean cargo carriers was $62.2 million at 6% of revenue. That compared to $59.3 million or 6% of revenue during the prior-year quarter.
Landstar ranks No. 9 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America and No. 41 on the TT Top 50 list of the largest logistics companies.
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