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U.S. Xpress Enterprises reported an increase in revenue for the first quarter of 2020, but its bottom line swung from a profit to a loss.
The company on April 30 reported a Q1 net loss attributable to controlling interest of $9.2 million, or 19 cents per diluted share, compared with net income attributable to controlling interest of $4.7 million, or 10 cents, during the previous year.
During a conference call with investors and analysts the day of the earnings release, Chief Financial Officer Eric Peterson said that when a $2 million impairment charge for an equity method investment is excluded, the company’s adjusted net loss for the first quarter was $7.2 million, or 15 cents diluted common share.
The Chattanooga, Tenn.-based company’s Q1 operating revenue increased by 4% to $432.6 million from $415.4 million a year ago. Truckload revenue rose 3.5% to $382.1 million from $369.1 million.
“The truckload freight environment has been lackluster for several quarters,” U.S. Xpress CEO Eric Fuller said in a news release. “Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, we were seeing early signs of a broad market improvement. After the outbreak, during March, freight volumes and spot market pricing ramped up in response to the demand associated with consumer stockpiling and inventory restocking. While the outlook is uncertain, we believe we are well-positioned, as less than 4% of our revenues were generated by customers that closed during the peak of the pandemic, and we did not experience a drop-off in volumes.”
The company’s brokerage segment reported Q1 revenue increased 9.2% to $50.4 million compared with $46.2, which U.S. Xpress attributed primarily to an increased load count that was partially offset by decreased revenue per load.
Due to the economic uncertainty associated with COVID-19, the company is not providing a financial outlook. “U.S. Xpress is not offering guidance regarding a range of expected earnings per share or similar measures for future quarters,” it said. “However, the company does expect to have sufficient sources of liquidity to fund its operations through 2020 and beyond even under an extended economic downturn.”
Fuller added: “The spread of COVID-19 across our nation has dramatically impacted not only how we work but all aspects of our daily lives. In this period of uncertainty, we are committed to keeping our employees safe and our customers’ products moving across the country.” That commitment includes having 95% of its corporate office staff work from home and mandatory temperature checks for drivers prior to entering facilities.
“To ensure we seamlessly maintain our operations, we have transitioned a majority of our office staff to a work-from-home environment, distributed protective gear to our drivers and shop personnel, and designed shipper and receiver interaction processes for our drivers,” Fuller said. “We have also implemented procedures to ensure we are effectively communicating with our employees to keep them safe and informed.”
U.S. Xpress started with a fleet of 48 trucks when it was founded in 1986. The company has grown to include 7,000 tractors and 15,500 trailers. It also is one of the largest asset-based truckload carriers by revenue in the country.
U.S. Xpress Enterprises ranks No. 20 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America and No. 31 on the TT Top 50 list of the largest logistics companies.
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