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February 5, 2019 5:00 PM, EST

Patriot Transportation Reports Fiscal 1Q Results

Patriot Transportation A Florida Rock & Tank Lines truck. (IFADAT1 via YouTube)

Patriot Transportation Holding, the Jacksonville, Fla.-based parent of Florida Rock & Tank Lines, reported higher profits and revenue in the first fiscal quarter of 2019.

Net income in the three months ended Dec. 31 was $884,000, or 27 cents a share, and included a $634,000, or 19 cents a share, gain on land sales. That compared with net income of $3.6 million, or $1.09 a share, in the same period a year ago, which included a one-time benefit of $3 million, or 92 cents a share, from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

Operating income before taxes was $1.1 million in the first fiscal quarter of 2019 compared with $744,000 a year ago. The company’s operating ratio, which compares expenses to revenue, improved to 96.1 from 97.3.

Total revenue increased slightly to $28.1 million in the quarter from $27.9 million a year ago.

Revenue from transportation operations fell to $25 million from $25.6 million due to a decrease of 7 cents a mile in revenue per tractor, a loss that was partially offset by an increase in miles driven. Several locations also were impacted by Hurricane Michael with the company’s Panama City, Fla., location, in particular, suffering severe damage and lost revenue, company officials said in a statement released Jan. 30.

“We are not pleased with the bottom line operating results for this first quarter,” the company stated, “but we do see several positive trends.”

The company noted an increase in the number of drivers in training and improvement in the market on pricing.

“There are plenty of opportunities today to increase our business levels at better rates if we can obtain additional driver capacity,” the company noted in its press release.

The company said it is selling excess equipment, which will reduce expenses for maintenance and licensing, and also made changes in its pharmacy and wellness plans to generate additional savings on health expenses.

Florida Rock & Tank Lines ranks No. 11 on the Transport Topics list of the top for-hire carriers in the Tank/Bulk sector.