October 30, 2019 12:15 PM, EDT

Saia Reports 37th Consecutive Quarter of Growth

Saia truck crosses bridgeSaiaLTLFreight via Twitter

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Saia Inc. reported mixed third-quarter financial results Oct. 30, missing Wall Street’s expectations for earnings but surpassing analysts’ forecasts for revenue.

Still, the numbers were significantly higher when compared with the same quarter in 2018, and the earnings are a third-quarter record.

Net income was $32.9 million or $1.27 a share compared with $28.2 million or $1.09 a share last year. According to Zacks Investment Research the consensus earnings-per-share forecast was for $1.29.

Revenue was $468.9 million, a 10.2% jump over last year’s $425.5 million. The consensus estimate was $453.8 million.

Saia, a less-than-truckload carrier based in Johns Creek, Ga., has posted 37 consecutive quarters of year-over-year improvement.

“The record third-quarter results at Saia were achieved even as the company opened three new terminals and relocated another, all in the back half of September, as we continue to focus on our long-term growth strategy,” CEO Fritz Holzgrefe said. “While I was generally pleased with our execution in the third quarter, the challenge created by the new terminal openings and relocations late in the quarter, and continuing negative weight-per-shipment trends, provided a larger-than-expected headwind to results.”

Operating ratio in the quarter improved to 90.3 from 90.9. Operating ratio, or operating expenses as a percentage of revenue, is used to measure efficiency. The lower the ratio, the greater the company’s ability to generate profit.

Saia has been expanding at a rapid clip. In just the past two months, it opened new LTL freight terminals in Erie, Pa.; Buffalo and Albany, N.Y.; Indianapolis; Long Beach, Calif.,: Concord, N.H.; and Boston, and it relocated its Philadelphia facility to a larger location.

Saia ranks No. 25 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America, and No. 9 for LTL carriers.

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