February 2, 2017 12:45 PM, EST

Old Dominion Profits Drop But Company Optimistic

David Cintron/Flickr

Old Dominion Freight Line Inc. profits dropped 5.1% in the fourth quarter versus the year prior, earning $68.5 million during the three-month period, or 83 cents per share.

One year ago, profits were $72.2 million, or 85 cents per share.

“Old Dominion’s fourth-quarter financial results reflect a number of encouraging developments, despite a 2.4% decrease in earnings per diluted share,” ODFL CEO David Congdon said. “In a quarter with one less business day than the comparable prior-year period, our revenue per day increased 3.2%, which was driven by a 0.3% increase in LTL tons per day and a 2.6% increase in LTL revenue per hundredweight.”

The Thomasville, North Carolina, company posted $745.7 million in revenue, up 1.5% year-over-year. But operating expenses outpaced the gain in revenue due to a $10 million increase in fringe benefit costs and about $2 million more in depreciation costs.

“We believe Old Dominion performed well during the fourth quarter and all of 2016, particularly given the challenges we faced from the economy and headwinds created by the strategic elimination of certain non-LTL services. We were encouraged by the improving operating environment as the fourth quarter progressed and our momentum has carried over into January,” Congdon said.

Old Dominion, which ranks No. 11 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest U.S. and Canadian for-hire carriers, fell 2 cents short on earnings. However, it came out about $6 million higher on revenue.