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February 6, 2017 4:45 PM, EST

YRC Worldwide Loses $7.8 Million in Fourth Quarter

YRC Freight

YRC Worldwide posted a net loss $7.8 million in the fourth quarter, better than $23.5 million in the red from the same period in 2015, but the carrier still fell short of industry analysts' expectations.

The loss was 23 cents per share, better than the 73-cent loss in the year prior but below the forecast of a 12-cent loss, according to a Bloomberg News survey of analysts.

The news was better on a full-year basis in 2016 as YRC earned $21.5 million in net income, or 65 cents, versus only $700,000, or 2 cents, in 2015. However, it was short of the $28.3 million or 81-cent forecast.

Revenue in the fourth quarter was relatively unchanged, up less than 0.5% to $1.15 billion, but the less-than-truckload carrier cut $29 million in salaries, wages and employee benefits, among other expenses. For the full year, revenue was $4.7 billion, a 2.8% decline from the 2015 total.

“In the fourth-quarter 2016, year-over-year tonnage per day was up at YRC Freight and flat at the Regional segment,” CEO James Welch said. “However, YRC Freight’s year-over-year revenue per hundredweight declined, which impacted its ability to offset cost increases during the quarter.”

Revenues at YRC Freight were down only 0.5% to $730.3 million in the fourth quarter and up 2.2% to $418 million at the YRC Regional Transportation segment. The number of shipments per day was relatively flat in the fourth quarter on a year-over-year basis in both divisions. Revenue per 100 pounds of freight at YRC Freight fell 1.5% and rose 0.3% in the Regional Transportation segment.

For the full year, YRC Freight’s revenue dropped to $2.96 billion from $3.06 billion in 2015, and YRC Regional Transportation’s fell to $1.74 billion versus $1.78 billion.

Last month, lenders approved a change to the terms and conditions of the debt that YRC Worldwide holds. It eases the restrictions on the amount of adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization it must earn under an agreement with lenders known as a debt covenant.

“During the quarter, we used our liquidity position to pay down a portion of the term loan, further derisking the balance sheet and reducing long-term debt to the lowest level since 2005,” Welch said.

YRC Worldwide ranks No. 5 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest U.S. and Canadian for-hire carriers based on revenue.