USA Truck Continues Turnaround With Improved Results in 3Q

USA Truck on road
John Sommers II for Transport Topics

USA Truck reported higher revenues and profits in the third quarter of 2018, continuing a financial turnaround started in 2017.

The Van Buren, Ark.-based company provides dry van truckload and freight brokerage services.

Net income was $3.3 million, or 40 cents a share, in the three months ended Sept. 30, compared with $409,000, or 5 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Revenue grew 16% to $132.6 million in the third quarter of 2018 from $114.2 million in 2017.



“This quarter represents our fifth consecutive quarter of consolidated profitability and demonstrates progress on our turnaround initiative,” CEO James Reed said in a statement Oct. 25.

Reed said average revenue per tractor per week increased by $408 year-over-year, despite periods of high unseated truck count due to delays in receiving new trucks from manufacturers and difficulty in recruiting drivers. The average unseated tractor percentage was 6.5% in the third quarter of 2018 compared with 3.8% in 2017.

In response, USA Truck said it increased driver pay in targeted regions and redesigned freight networks to increase operational efficiency.

The company also recently announced the acquisition of Davis Transfer Co. in Carnesville, Ga. The deal will add 250 tractors to the USA Truck over-the-road fleet and increase freight density by providing access to new shippers and freight in lanes that complement those of USA Truck.

“We expect Davis to be immediately accretive to earnings,” Reed noted.

USAT Logistics, the company’s freight brokerage division, generated operating income of $3.2 million in the third quarter of 2018, compared with $3 million a year ago. Gross revenue was $47.1 million in 2018 versus $37.8 million in 2017.

For the first nine months of 2018, USA Truck posted net income of $6.9 million, or 84 cents a share, on revenue of $393 million compared with a net loss of $7.3 million, or 91 cents a share, on revenue of $323.3 million in 2017.

USA Truck ranks No. 69 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of largest for-hire carriers in North America. USAT Logistics ranks No. 40 on the TT list of top freight brokerage firms.