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October 25, 2018 4:00 PM, EDT

LTL Carrier Old Dominion 3Q Financials Beat Analysts’ Expectations

Old Dominion Freight Line truck Old Dominion Freight Line

Citing the strong U.S. economy and available capacity, Old Dominion Freight Line Inc. produced record results for revenue and profitability during the third quarter, CEO Greg Gantt said Oct. 25.

The Thomasville, N.C.-based less-than-truckload carrier reported net income of $173.4 million, or $2.12 a share. That compares with $102.3 million, or $1.24 per share, for the same period in 2017.

The results exceeded Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of nine analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.97 per share.

Greg Gantt

Gantt

Old Dominion’s revenue jumped 21.2% to $1.06 billion, compared with $872 million in 2017. Revenue has increased at a rate above 20% for three straight quarters. The company also said its increase in revenue over last year included a 12.5% rise in LTL revenue per hundredweight and an 8.1% increase in LTL tons.

“Old Dominion Freight Line’s third quarter represents another period of substantial growth with results that included many new company records,” Gantt said.

The company’s operating ratio also improved, to a company record 78.4 from 81.2 in the same period a year ago. Operating ratio, or operating expenses as a percentage of revenue, is a key industry metric used to measure efficiency. The lower the ratio, the greater the company’s ability to generate profit.

For the first nine months of the year, net income is $446.2 million, a 67.4% increase from $266.5 million in 2017.

“It was another record-breaking quarter for us,” Executive Chairman David Congdon said on a conference call with reporters and analysts. “Financial results for the quarter reflect our ability to win market share, which has been supported by the strategic plan that we implemented years ago. Economic indicators continue to be positive and coupled with a capacity-constraint industry support a favorable pricing environment as well as continued strength with our volumes. 2018 may turn out to be one of the best operating years in our company’s history.”