Landstar System on April 24 reported a record first-quarter earnings per share price of $1.58 on net income of $63.3 million, which compares with $1.37 per share on income of $57.5 million during the same period a year ago. This beat Wall Street expectations, as Zacks Investment Research had forecast a share price of $1.52 for the quarter.
The Jacksonville, Fla.-based trucking and logistics service provider generated $1.03 billion during the quarter, which was slightly below the $1.04 billion during 2018. The decrease in revenue came as a result of a drop-off in the amount of money generated by the truckload and less-than-truckload divisions, while rail/intermodal, ocean and air cargo carriers and other business divisions saw an uptick in revenue.
“I am pleased with Landstar’s financial performance during the 2019 first quarter,” CEO Jim Gattoni said in a statement. “We began the quarter facing very difficult year-over-year comparisons plus decelerating rates of growth in both truck revenue per load and truck loadings that began in late 2018.”
Landstar generates the bulk of its revenue from services provided by business capacity owners (BCOs), who are independent contractors that provide truck capacity under exclusive lease arrangements. The company also brokers freight to other carriers and provides rail intermodal and freight forwarding services.
The number of trucks provided by BCOs reached 9,911 at the end of the quarter, compared with 9,243 at the end of March 2018, the company reported. The number of loads hauled by BCO independent contractors increased marginally, to 234,850 from 233,180.
Demand for truckload transportation was mixed for the quarter. Loads requiring van equipment generating revenue slipped by 5.6%, to $619 million from $656 million in 2018.
Loads on unsided or platform equipment generated revenue of $310.7 million, a 3.7% rise from $299.3 million. First-quarter 2019 less-than-truckload loads revenue was almost identical to 2018, $23.3 million compared with nearly $23.6 million in the year-ago period.
Total truckloads increased nearly 2.5%, to 522,270 in the first quarter from 509,740 a year ago.
Rail intermodal generated revenue of $30 million in the first quarter of 2019, an increase of 2.5% from $29.2 million in 2018.
“Truck capacity became more readily available at the end of 2018, and that market condition carried through the 2019 first quarter, putting additional pressure on rates,” Gattoni said. “Landstar performed very well during the 2019 first quarter given the softening environment.”