Heartland's 2Q net income up on sale of assets

Heartland net income up 5 percent on asset sales, offsets lower fuel-surcharge revenue

Associated Press

NORTH LIBERTY, Iowa (AP) -- Heartland Express Inc. reported Friday that its second-quarter net income increased 5 percent as the trucking company's sale of some assets offset lower revenue from fuel surcharges.

The North Liberty, Iowa, company earned $19.1 million, or 23 cents per share, for the quarter that ended June 30. That is compared with $18.2 million, or 21 cents per share, last year. Its revenue slipped to $134 million from $139.7 million.

Analysts polled by FactSet, on average, were anticipating earnings of 21 cents per share on revenue of $141.1 million.

Heartland said that its revenue for the period suffered due to a 6.7 percent decline in fuel surcharge revenues. The U.S. average cost of fuel was $3.87 per gallon during the second quarter of 2013, a 1.3 percent decrease from the second quarter of the prior year.

However, the company is upgrading its fleet, adding 190 new trucks during the period and it benefited from the sale of certain equipment and property as part of this process.

Jefferies analyst Peter Nesvold said he believes the Heartland Express' rates remained flat year-over-year. He maintained a hold rating on the company's stock.

Shares in Heartland Express added 2 cents to close at $14.80 amid a broader market dip. Its stock hit as high as $14.99 in trading earlier in the day, its highest levels since spring of 2012.

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