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Profit at TFI International Inc. rebounded in the third quarter from pandemic lows as the carrier experienced operating income improvements in its logistics, package and less-than-truckload lines of business.
The Montreal-based truckload and logistics company said net income rose 34% to C$110.7 million from C$82.6 million in the same period a year earlier. Diluted earnings per share rose to C$1.25 from C$1.04.
But revenue fell 4% to C$1.25 billion from C$1.3 billion in the same quarter in 2019.
But the company said that was a significant improvement over the 17% percent decline posted in the second quarter and reflected an improving economy.
“TFI International had a very strong quarter. We have seen several positive developments that bode well for our progress going forward,” CEO Alain Bédard said in an Oct. 23 conference call with industry analysts.
The revenue outlook was mixed based on the business line. After adjusting for fuel surcharges, revenue grew 7% for TFI’s logistics, driven by business acquisitions and e-commerce, and 1% for the package and courier. But it declined 6% for the truckload segment and 17% for the less-than-truckload business compared with the year-ago period.
Operating income rose in all of TFI’s business segments but truckload, which fell 1.6% to C$74.6 million. It rose 1% to C$28.5 million in the package and courier segment, 35.7% in the less-than-truckload segment and 116.7% to C$29.9 million in the logistics segment.
Income for all of the segments was helped by Canadian pandemic-related wage subsidies. But all showed gains from improvements in the U.S. and Canadian economies. Bedard also said the COVID-19 pandemic helped the package and courier business grow as the economy shifted to e-commerce and delivery service.
Saluting the men and women of the trucking industry who kept America's essential goods flowing during the coronavirus pandemic.
The results gave TFI’s board of directors the confidence to increase the motor carrier’s fourth-quarter dividend 12% to 29 Canadian cents per share.
The rebounding economy allowed the motor carrier to bring back employees it laid off at the start of the COVID-19 recession. Bedard said TFI has reinstated a full five-day workweek for 486 employees and rehired 298 employees full time who had been furloughed.
TFI also provided a more optimistic outlook for its financial performance. It estimated earnings per share to reach at least C$4 on an annual basis, up from a range of C$3.40 to C$3.75.
TFI continues to make strategic acquisitions. It acquired four companies during the third quarter and two in the current fourth quarter. The company also has an agreement to acquire DLS Worldwide this quarter.
Bedard said all were opportunities that will add to the company’s financial performance.
“Mergers and acquisitions have been the secret sauce of TFI. Our pipeline is always very full,” Bedard said.
TFI International ranks No. 11 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America.
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