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October 19, 2016 5:00 PM, EDT

Landstar Third-Quarter Earnings Decline 7.8%

Landstar System Inc.

Landstar System Inc. reported third-quarter net income fell 7.8% to $36.3 million, or 86 cents per share, hurt by a drop in flatbed freight loads and revenue.

The Jacksonville, Florida-based company’s revenue fell 6.4% to $787.9 million. Year-earlier period earnings were $39.3 million, or 90 cents.

Flatbed freight shipments were off 14%, while van shipments rose 6%.

“Overall, we continued to have difficult year-over-year comparisons to 2015 driven mostly by tougher overall industry conditions in 2016,” CEO Jim Gattoni said in a statement that noted the decline in the flatbed sector was tied to a contract that expired at the end of 2015. “I expect the slow growth environment we have experienced during the first three quarters of 2016 to continue.”

Flatbed freight revenue fell more than 15% to $248.9 million. Van freight revenue was little changed at $465.8 million. Van and flatbed combined account for more than 90% of revenue at the company that ranks No. 9 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest U.S. and Canadian for-hire carriers. Smaller freight types such as rail intermodal, ocean and less-than-truckload all declined.

The results topped analyst estimates by 5 cents per share.

Excluding the freight from the expired contract, flatbed loads rose 1%. Revenue per van load slipped nearly 6% to $1,600, while flatbed was 1% lower at $2,219.