Old Dominion Freight Line reported stronger earnings for the third quarter with net income up 1.4% compared to a year ago at this time, overcoming an overall drop in tonnage and shipments.
The company earned $85.5 million in profits or $1.03 per share. The results are up from 84.4 million or 99 cents one year ago.
Old Dominion ranks No. 11 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest U.S. and Canadian for-hire carriers.
Revenue rose only 0.4% to $782.6 million compared to $779.5 million a year ago. Expenses rose to $645.2 million from $639.6 million, and thus earnings before taxes and interest fell about 2% to $137.4 million.
Old Dominion came out ahead due to a 62% drop in non-operating expenses.
“Although the economic environment continued to be weak during the quarter, the pricing environment remained stable, our LTL weight per shipment increased, and we exercised good control over our variable operating costs," CEO David Congdon said.
As the company warned on a mid-quarter conference call, the number of shipments and tonnage dropped compared to last year.
Both overall tons and tonnage per day dropped 1.3% year-over-year. The number of shipments dropped 1.8%.
Nevertheless, revenue per one hundred pounds of freight rose 2.7% to $16.91 and the revenue per shipment jumped 3.3% to $262.35.
"Our quarterly LTL weight per shipment increased on a year-over-year basis for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2014. This increase contributed to the growth in our LTL revenue per shipment and also improved certain productivity metrics," Congdon said.
Old Dominion's earnings were 6 cents better than the analyst forecasts, based on a consensus survey from Bloomberg News.