Universal Logistics Says Second-Quarter Earnings to Trail Forecasts

Universal Logistics Holdings Inc. has become the third truckload operator to announce its second-quarter earnings will fall short of the average analyst estimate due to weak freight markets.

Universal Logistics, based in Warren, Michigan, said earnings for Universal Truckload Services Inc., its subsidiary, will be 31 cents to 35 cents per share, trailing the estimate of 38 cents compiled by Bloomberg News. In the second quarter of last year, earnings were 44 cents per share.

Werner Enterprises Inc. and Covenant Transportation Group earlier said the weak freight market would trail estimates by 40% or more.

“Despite the positive momentum, the challenging freight market that persists has put downward pressure on total top-line operating revenues and operating income when compared to the same period last year,” Universal said in a statement. 

"We will continue to focus on maintaining market share, executing our sales strategy and controlling costs as we manage through this difficult freight environment," said Universal CEO Jeff Rogers.

Universal also said income before interest and taxes will range between $16.2 million and $18.1 million, with revenue in the range of $271 million to $281 million. This revenue compares with $22.9 million of operating income in the second quarter of 2015 on revenue totaling $295 million.  Universal also anticipates earnings per diluted share in the range of 31 cents to 35 cents for the second quarter of 2016, compared with 44 cents per share in second quarter 2015.

Universal expects second-quarter results will exceed first-quarter earnings of 26 cents per share. Logistics services performed better than the trucking unit.


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