Old Dominion Freight Line beat the Wall Street consensus estimate on its earnings per share when the Thomasville, N.C., less-than-truckload carrier reported first-quarter results April 25.
Compared with the first quarter of 2018, the company’s net income was $133.3 million or $1.65 a share, up from $109.3 million or $1.33 a share. Revenue was up 7.1% to $990.7 million from $925 million in 2018.
Old Dominion beat Wall Street’s estimate on earnings per share — $1.58 according to Zacks Investment Research — by reporting earnings of $1.64 a share, 23.3% higher than in the first quarter of 2018.
Company officials acknowledge that 2018 was a record-setting year, and 2019 is off to a strong start with a steady U.S. economy and available capacity.
“Old Dominion’s financial results for the first quarter reflect our team’s execution of a plan that has served us well throughout many economic cycles,” CEO Greg Gantt said. “We believe that the domestic economy and customer demand trends remain favorable, which should continue to support our ability to win market share by providing shippers with superior service at a fair price.
“The consistent delivery of this value proposition, combined with our commitment to regularly invest in our network capacity, provides us with further opportunities to produce long-term profitable growth and increase shareholder value.”
The company’s operating ratio improved significantly, to 82 from 83.9. 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.
“We gained operating efficiencies during the first quarter and, as a result, were able to improve our direct operating costs as a percent of revenue,” Gantt said.
Old Dominion Freight Line ranks No. 11 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America.