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Werner Enterprises Inc. reported smaller profits in the third quarter of 2019 but said the period was still the second-best Q3 in company history.
Werner reported $39 million in net income, down 18% from $47.5 million in the third quarter of 2018. The company’s Q3 2018, during the freight boom, was its best third quarter.
Earnings per share last quarter were 56 cents, down 15% from 66 cents during the year-ago period. Revenue for the period ended Sept. 30 was $618.3 million, down 2% from $629.7 million.
Last year’s robust freight market made for tough comparisons for last quarter, Werner CEO Derek Leathers said.
“A year ago in third quarter 2018, the freight and rate market conditions were the best in decades,” he said. “In third quarter 2019, the freight and rate markets were meaningfully softer, but showed signs of seasonal improvement towards the end of the quarter.”
Leathers said various corporate strategies helped the truckload carrier weather the softer economic situation. For instance, revenue declines were attributed primarily to lower fuel-surcharge and logistics revenue, which were partially offset by dedicated fleet expansion.
Werner’s truckload transport services segment saw revenue drop 1% to $480.4 million from $484.8 million.
For this segment, Werner said the average revenue per truck went down primarily because of a decrease in average miles per truck.
The company’s logistics segment saw revenue decline 6% to $121.3 million, from $129.4 million, due to “significantly lower intermodal volume impacted by a delayed peak season and excess trucking capacity in the market,” it said. The truckload operation within this segment experienced double-digit volume growth, Werner said, but that was offset by rate pressure.
Werner was founded in 1956 and has coverage throughout North America, Asia, Europe, South America, Africa and Australia. Werner offers truckload services that include dedicated, medium-to-long-haul, regional and expedited van, and temperature-controlled hauling.
Werner ranks No. 15 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America and is tied for No. 20 on the TT Top 50 list of the largest logistics companies.
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