J.B. Hunt Profit, Revenues Soar on Surging Freight Demand

Date: Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Source: Wall Street Journal

J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. JBHT -0.01% reported a 55% gain in second-quarter earnings to $151.7 million, easily beating expectations as higher freight rates and strong shipping demand boosted revenue and profit across the company’s trucking and logistics operations.

J.B. Hunt’s revenue rose 24% to $2.14 billion, the company said Monday, topping consensus estimates of $2.05 billion from analysts. The second-quarter profit reached $1.37 per share compared with 88 cents per share, or $97.9 million, in the same quarter a year ago.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters estimated J.B. Hunt would earn $1.28 a share for the quarter.

J.B. Hunt’s stock was off 4.1%, or $4.93 per share, in trading Monday morning.

Lowell, Ark.-based J.B. Hunt, one of the nation’s largest trucking and logistics companies and the first to report earnings for the second quarter,, is benefiting from a booming domestic shipping economy marked by high demand and tight transportation capacity, leading to rising prices for freight transport.

J.B. Hunt reported double-digit increases in revenue per load, a key measure of pricing strength, in its truck-rail intermodal, logistics and trucking segments.

Revenue in the intermodal segment, which makes up about half the company’s overall business, rose 16% to $1.16 billion and operating profit increased 22% to $134 million. The company said rate increases and other gains were partially offset by increases in costs for items such as rail purchased transportation, driver pay, retention and recruiting and equipment ownership.

Revenue in the Integrated Capacity Solutions unit, a freight brokerage operation typically used to purchase trucking capacity and rail capacity outside the company’s owned operations, soared 56% to $347 million.

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