April 19, 2007 5:00 PM, EDT

Swift’s First-Quarter Earnings Tumble

Pending Buyout Contributing to Downturn
Tom Biery/Trans Pixs

Swift Transportation Co.’s first-quarter profit fell 74% because of a pending buyout, bad weather, higher fuel costs and lower demand.

Net income declined to $10 million or 13 cents a share, from $37.9 million or 50 cents a year ago.

Sales fell 4.6% to $727.2 million, the truckload carrier said in a regulatory filing Thursday.

Swift shareholders are scheduled to vote next Friday on a $2.5 billion, $31.55 per-share bid by founder Jerry Moyes to take the company private.

The company’s board agreed to the offer in January. Moyes left as chief executive officer in 2005 and has since been upset about the way Swift has been operated, the company has said in regulatory filings, Bloomberg reported.

Saint Acquisition Corp., the company Moyes set up to buy Swift, plans to sell $835 million of senior secured notes to help fund the transaction, Moody's Investors Service said, Bloomberg reported.

Swift is ranked No. 9 on the Transport Topics 100 listing of U.S. and Canadian for-hire carriers.