WESTLAKE, Ohio (AP) -- TravelCenters of America's first-quarter losses narrowed on growing fuel sales and better margins as the company opened more truck stops.
The company, based in Westlake, Ohio, posted a loss of $14.2 million, or 49 cents per share, for the quarter that ended March 31. That is an improvement over its loss of $16.6 million, or 92 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.
TravelCenters's revenue increased nearly 12 percent to $1.99 billion.
Analysts polled by FactSet had anticipated a loss of 49 cents per share on revenue of $1.92 billion.
The company said that it benefitted from improved margins on its fuel sales. It also said its total fuel sales volume increased by 2.4 percent, despite some improvement projects that took some pumps out of service during the quarter. But those improvements projects caused its revenue from sites open at least a year to fall 0.5 percent. This is a closely watched indicator of financial performance as it strips away the impact of recently opened or closed stores.
TravelCenters said sales of nonfuel items at its travel centers helped provide a boost during the period as well; that measure increased 8 percent year-over-year.
The company, which operates under the TA or Petro brand names, relies heavily on the trucking industry for its business. That took a toll on its business in the past as the economy and the trucking industry have slowly improved, so have its results.
Shares of TravelCenters of America LLC, however, tumbled fell 74 cents, or 12 percent, to $5.36 in midday trading. Its shares are trading at the middle of its 52-week range of $2.79 to $8.40.