Con-way shares fall on cost predictions

Shares of Con-way drop on forecast that costs will lower freight division's 1st-qtr profit

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Con-way Inc. fell Wednesday after the trucking company said it expects hefty costs to weigh on its freight division's first-quarter results.

THE SPARK: Con-way said that a reserve for a large vehicular claim, a charge related to a transition to new technology, weather-related costs and field training expenses are expected to collectively lower the business' first-quarter 2013 operating income by about $14 million.

In addition the freight unit's first-quarter weight-per-day is expected to be down about 1.5 percent from year-ago levels. But revenue-per-hundredweight, excluding fuel surcharges, is expected to increase about 3.5 percent from the same quarter of 2012.

THE BIG PICTURE: Con-way said that despite higher costs, the freight division remains on track to meet its key goals for the year. It added that while tonnage trends are below year-ago levels, they've been relatively stable.

The company, based in Ann Arbor, Mich., will release first-quarter results on May 1.

THE SHARES: Down $1.48, or 4 percent, to $35.84 in afternoon trading, after dropping as low as $34.72 earlier in the day. Over the past 52 weeks, the stock has traded between $25.97 and $38.78. Conway shares have risen about 34 percent since the start of the year.

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