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April 26, 2017 11:50 AM, EDT

Old Dominion Profits Up 9.1%, Beat Analyst Estimates

John Sommers II for Transport Topics
Old Dominion Freight Line Inc. reported profits rose 9.1% in the first quarter, a positive start for the major less-than-truckload companies scheduled to report earnings by May 5.

Net income was $65.8 million or 80 cents per share, a penny higher than the Bloomberg News consensus forecast of industry analysts. One year ago, Old Dominion generated $60.3 million or 72 cents in profits.

Revenue grew 6.6% to $754.1 million, also slightly ahead of the forecast.

“Our revenue growth was driven by a 4.9% increase in LTL revenue per hundredweight and a 2.4% increase in LTL tons per day for the quarter,” CEO David Congdon said. “We are encouraged by the increased economic momentum observed in the first quarter, which supported the increases in freight density and yield that helped us improve our operating ratio.”

Total shipments in the quarter increased 1.3% to 2.5 million, and the average pound per shipment rose 1% to 1,561.

Depreciation expenses rose 12% due to continued investments in real estate, equipment and technology, the company said. Overall expenses rose 6.2% to $645,974.

Nevertheless, higher costs were more than outweighed by the growth in volume, weight and revenue from LTL service and resulted in an 8.6% year-over-year improvement in operating income to $108.1 million.

Old Dominion ranks No. 11 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest U.S. and Canadian for-hire carriers.

Saia Inc. is scheduled to report earnings April 28, and the rest of the publicly traded LTL carriers will release results in the first week of May.