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April 28, 2016 1:30 PM, EDT

YRC Worldwide, Old Dominion Freight Line, Universal Truckload Services Earnings Decline

Old Dominion Freight Line

YRC Worldwide Inc.’s first quarter net loss narrowed to $12 million, or 37 cents per share, while earnings declined 3.6% to $60.3 million, or 72 cents, at LTL competitor Old Dominion Freight Line Inc.

In the truckload sector, Universal Truckload Services Inc. earnings dipped 8.4% to $7.5 million, or 26 cents, as both companies cited tough market conditions.

YRC’s revenue dropped 5% to $1.12 billion. Rates measured in revenue per 100 pounds of freight rose 3.7% at the national unit and 2.4% at the regional business. Tonnage and shipments declined at both units.

“We must balance the volume equation with our strategy to get the right freight at the right price,” James Welch, CEO at YRC, said. “Our intent is to remain disciplined and true to this strategy.”

Revenue rose 1.6% to $707.7 million from $696.2 million at Old Dominion. In the year-earlier period, net income was $62.5 million, or 72 cents. The results lagged by 4 cents the average estimate of analysts compiled by Bloomberg News.

 The results were the second and third among less-than-truckload operators in the quarter, following a 16% decline at Saia Inc.

“Old Dominion produced solid operating results despite an operating environment that continues to be challenging,” CEO David Congdon said in a statement.

The operating ratio, which in past quarters has been the best in the industry, worsened slightly to 85.9 from 85.1 as a result of higher wage and benefit costs as the workforce increased by 6.7%

Old Dominion was able to improve pricing by 3.8% per 100 pounds of freight and increase shipments by 6.2%. Tonnage per day rose 1.2%.

Revenue at Universal declined 1% to $260.4 million.  Transportation services revenue fell primarily due to lower fuel surcharge collections, slipping 6.5% to $149.9 million. Intermodal revenue climbed 6.0% to $34.9 million. Loads increased in both of those units. Logistics revenue was 7.6% higher at $75.6 million.

“We are starting to see the growth anticipated in our value-added services,” said Universal’s CEO Jeff Rogers. “A soft pricing environment continues to put downward pressure in our transportation service revenues. Once again, intermodal performed very well for us.”

Old Dominion is No. 11 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest U.S. and Canadian for-hire carriers. YRC is No. 5 and Universal is No. 27.