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Marten Transport Announces Fourth Quarter and Year End Results

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Reports highest operating revenue and operating income for any quarter and year in Marten’s history

MONDOVI, Wis., Jan. 26, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Marten Transport, Ltd. (Nasdaq/GS:MRTN) today reported the highest operating revenue and operating income for any quarter and year in Marten’s history. For the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2020, net income improved 24.5% to $19.6 million, or 24 cents per diluted share, from $15.7 million, or 19 cents per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2019. For the year ended December 31, 2020, net income improved 13.8% to $69.5 million, or 84 cents per diluted share, from $61.1 million, or 74 cents per diluted share, for 2019.

Operating Results Comparison

Percentage

Percentage

Increase

Increase

Three Months

Year

Ended

Ended

December 31,

December 31,

2020 vs. 2019

2020 vs. 2019

Operating revenue

4.7

%

3.7

%

Operating revenue, net of fuel surcharges

8.8

%

6.8

%

Operating income

36.0

%

21.9

%

Net income

24.5

%

13.8

%

Operating revenue improved 4.7% to a record $227.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2020 from $217.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2019, and improved 3.7% to a record $874.4 million for 2020 from $843.3 million for 2019. Excluding fuel surcharges, operating revenue improved 8.8% to $207.0 million for the 2020 quarter from $190.2 million for the 2019 quarter, and improved 6.8% to $790.6 million for 2020 from $739.9 million for 2019. Fuel surcharge revenue decreased to $20.4 million for the 2020 quarter from $27.0 million for the 2019 quarter and decreased to $83.8 million for 2020 from $103.4 million for 2019 due to significantly lower fuel prices.

Operating income improved 36.0% to a record $25.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2020 from $18.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2019, and improved 21.9% to a record $93.2 million for 2020 from $76.5 million for 2019.

Operating expenses as a percentage of operating revenue improved to 88.8% for the fourth quarter of 2020 from 91.3% for the fourth quarter of 2019. Operating expenses as a percentage of operating revenue, with both amounts net of fuel surcharges, improved to 87.7% from 90.1%.

Operating expenses as a percentage of operating revenue improved to 89.3% for 2020 from 90.9% for 2019. Operating expenses as a percentage of operating revenue, with both amounts net of fuel surcharges, improved to 88.2% from 89.7%.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Randolph L. Marten said, “Our relentless pursuit of continuous operating improvement just produced the highest operating revenue and operating income for any quarter and year in our 75-year history. Our 2020 operating ratio, net of fuel surcharges, was also the best ratio for any year since we became a public company in 1986. Our 21.9% operating income improvement in 2020 continues the strong growth we achieved in 2019 of 8.7% and in 2018 of 23.7%. Success breeds success, driven by the smart, disciplined work of our talented people.”

“We have been increasing and will continue to increase the compensation for our premium services within the tight freight market. We also improved our Truckload miles per tractor by 6.3% in the fourth quarter of 2020 and by 6.2% for the full year by making disciplined data-driven decisions and adjustments utilizing our in-house operating technology. We expect to continue to build on our success in expanding the capacity we provide within our unique multifaceted business model across our diverse customer base by offering the best careers for the industry’s top, experienced drivers.”

“We embrace our responsibility to keep our valued drivers, maintenance personnel and employees across all functions and regions safe and healthy as they each contribute to our transporting and distributing the food, beverages and other consumer goods essential to millions of people in North America. This includes our paying $3.4 million in 2020 for medical claims involving COVID-19, pay to employees off-work while recovering from COVID-19, and for safety measures including providing masks and hand sanitizer (purchasing the components, preparing and distributing over 6,000 bottles in March when sanitizer was not available), increasing the frequency and extent of cleaning processes to our facilities and tractors, and modifying our facilities for improved social distancing.”

Marten Transport, with headquarters in Mondovi, Wis., is a multifaceted business offering a network of refrigerated and dry truck-based transportation capabilities across the Company’s five distinct business platforms - Truckload, Dedicated, Intermodal, Brokerage and MRTN de Mexico. Marten is one of the leading temperature-sensitive truckload carriers in the United States, specializing in transporting and distributing food, beverages and other consumer packaged goods that require a temperature-controlled or insulated environment. The Company offers service in the United States, Canada and Mexico, concentrating on expedited movements for high-volume customers. Marten’s common stock is traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol MRTN.

This press release contains certain statements that may be considered forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These statements include a discussion of Marten’s prospects for future growth and by their nature involve substantial risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially from those expressed in such forward-looking statements. Important factors known to the Company that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements are discussed in Part I, Item 1A of the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019 and in Part II, Item 1A of the Company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2020. The Company undertakes no obligation to correct or update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

CONTACTS: Tim Kohl, President, and Jim Hinnendael, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, of Marten Transport, Ltd., 715-926-4216.

MARTEN TRANSPORT, LTD.
CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED BALANCE SHEETS

December 31,

December 31,

(In thousands, except share information)

2020

2019

(Unaudited)

ASSETS

Current assets:

Cash and cash equivalents

$

66,127

$

31,461

Receivables:

Trade, net

83,426

90,712

Other

4,202

11,055

Prepaid expenses and other

21,903

20,938

Total current assets

175,658

154,166

Property and equipment:

Revenue equipment, buildings and land, office equipment and other

930,123

904,237

Accumulated depreciation

(275,950

)

(263,843

)

Net property and equipment

654,173

640,394

Other noncurrent assets

1,805

2,026

Total assets

$

831,636

$

796,586

LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY

Current liabilities:

Accounts payable

$

25,702

$

22,917

Insurance and claims accruals

39,595

31,729

Accrued and other current liabilities

24,497

21,680

Total current liabilities

89,794

76,326

Deferred income taxes

121,098

122,022

Noncurrent operating lease liabilities

411

649

Total liabilities

211,303

198,997

Stockholders’ equity:

Preferred stock, $.01 par value per share; 2,000,000 shares authorized; no shares issued and outstanding

-

-

Common stock, $.01 par value per share; 192,000,000 shares authorized; 82,705,005 shares at December 31, 2020, and 82,055,199 shares at December 31, 2019, issued and outstanding

827

821

Additional paid-in capital

85,070

79,465

Retained earnings

534,436

517,303

Total stockholders’ equity

620,333

597,589

Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity

$

831,636

$

796,586

MARTEN TRANSPORT, LTD.
CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
(Unaudited)

Three Months

Year

Ended December 31,

Ended December 31,

(In thousands, except per share information)

2020

2019

2020

2019

Operating revenue

$

227,333

$

217,185

$

874,374

$

843,271

Operating expenses (income):

Salaries, wages and benefits

79,121

72,707

300,155

274,156

Purchased transportation

40,937

41,596

154,613

158,948

Fuel and fuel taxes

24,700

31,437

98,133

121,341

Supplies and maintenance

11,314

11,998

47,815

46,737

Depreciation

25,914

24,842

102,893

95,137

Operating taxes and licenses

2,837

2,678

10,840

10,100

Insurance and claims

12,294

8,846

47,454

38,201

Communications and utilities

2,050

1,908

8,011

7,709

Gain on disposition of revenue equipment

(2,834

)

(3,343

)

(8,733

)

(8,680

)

Gain on disposition of facility

-

-

(1,718

)

-

Other

5,442

5,729

21,665

23,124

Total operating expenses

201,775

198,398

781,128

766,773

Operating income

25,558

18,787

93,246

76,498

Other

(13

)

(262

)

(140

)

(1,190

)

Income before income taxes

25,571

19,049

93,386

77,688

Income taxes expense

5,967

3,301

23,886

16,617

Net income

$

19,604

$

15,748

$

69,500

$

61,071

Basic earnings per common share

$

0.24

$

0.19

$

0.84

$

0.75

Diluted earnings per common share

$

0.24

$

0.19

$

0.84

$

0.74

Dividends declared per common share

$

0.54

$

0.02

$

0.633

$

0.513

MARTEN TRANSPORT, LTD.
SEGMENT INFORMATION
(Unaudited)

Dollar

Percentage

Change

Change

Three Months

Three Months

Three Months

Ended

Ended

Ended

December 31,

December 31,

December 31,

(Dollars in thousands)

2020

2019

2020 vs. 2019

2020 vs. 2019

Operating revenue:

Truckload revenue, net of fuel surcharge revenue

$

87,460

$

82,991

$

4,469

5.4

%

Truckload fuel surcharge revenue

8,733

12,278

(3,545

)

(28.9

)

Total Truckload revenue

96,193

95,269

924

1.0

Dedicated revenue, net of fuel surcharge revenue

71,313

59,570

11,743

19.7

Dedicated fuel surcharge revenue

9,670

11,345

(1,675

)

(14.8

)

Total Dedicated revenue

80,983

70,915

10,068

14.2

Intermodal revenue, net of fuel surcharge revenue

20,817

21,132

(315

)

(1.5

)

Intermodal fuel surcharge revenue

1,959

3,391

(1,432

)

(42.2

)

Total Intermodal revenue

22,776

24,523

(1,747

)

(7.1

)

Brokerage revenue

27,381

26,478

903

3.4

Total operating revenue

$

227,333

$

217,185

$

10,148

4.7

%

Operating income:

Truckload

$

11,270

$

7,110

$

4,160

58.5

%

Dedicated

9,900

8,110

1,790

22.1

Intermodal

2,166

1,472

694

47.1

Brokerage

2,222

2,095

127

6.1

Total operating income

$

25,558

$

18,787

$

6,771

36.0

%

Operating ratio:

Truckload

88.3

%

92.5

%

Dedicated

87.8

88.6

Intermodal

90.5

94.0

Brokerage

91.9

92.1

Consolidated operating ratio

88.8

%

91.3

%

MARTEN TRANSPORT, LTD.
SEGMENT INFORMATION
(Unaudited)

Dollar

Percentage

Change

Change

Year

Year

Year

Ended

Ended

Ended

December 31,

December 31,

December 31,

(Dollars in thousands)

2020

2019

2020 vs. 2019

2020 vs. 2019

Operating revenue:

Truckload revenue, net of fuel surcharge revenue

$

342,357

$

329,304

$

13,053

4.0

%

Truckload fuel surcharge revenue

36,791

48,696

(11,905

)

(24.4

)

Total Truckload revenue

379,148

378,000

1,148

0.3

Dedicated revenue, net of fuel surcharge revenue

271,550

223,935

47,615

21.3

Dedicated fuel surcharge revenue

38,234

42,049

(3,815

)

(9.1

)

Total Dedicated revenue

309,784

265,984

43,800

16.5

Intermodal revenue, net of fuel surcharge revenue

79,944

77,750

2,194

2.8

Intermodal fuel surcharge revenue

8,789

12,644

(3,855

)

(30.5

)

Total Intermodal revenue

88,733

90,394

(1,661

)

(1.8

)

Brokerage revenue

96,709

108,893

(12,184

)

(11.2

)

Total operating revenue

$

874,374

$

843,271

$

31,103

3.7

%

Operating income:

Truckload

$

39,637

$

29,666

$

9,971

33.6

%

Dedicated

40,909

31,245

9,664

30.9

Intermodal

5,730

6,612

(882

)

(13.3

)

Brokerage

6,970

8,975

(2,005

)

(22.3

)

Total operating income

$

93,246

$

76,498

$

16,748

21.9

%

Operating ratio:

Truckload

89.5

%

92.2

%

Dedicated

86.8

88.3

Intermodal

93.5

92.7

Brokerage

92.8

91.8

Consolidated operating ratio

89.3

%

90.9

%

MARTEN TRANSPORT, LTD.
OPERATING STATISTICS
(Unaudited)

Three Months

Year

Ended December 31,

Ended December 31,

2020

2019

2020

2019

Truckload Segment:

Revenue (in thousands)

$

96,193

$

95,269

$

379,148

$

378,000

Average revenue, net of fuel surcharges, per tractor per week(1)

$

4,116

$

3,736

$

3,926

$

3,797

Average tractors(1)

1,617

1,690

1,668

1,663

Average miles per trip

526

554

547

548

Non-revenue miles percentage(2)

10.4

%

12.0

%

10.7

%

11.6

%

Total miles (in thousands)

40,185

39,538

165,267

155,177

Dedicated Segment:

Revenue (in thousands)

$

80,983

$

70,915

$

309,784

$

265,984

Average revenue, net of fuel surcharges, per tractor per week(1)

$

3,350

$

3,286

$

3,316

$

3,378

Average tractors(1)

1,620

1,380

1,566

1,272

Average miles per trip

303

313

305

315

Non-revenue miles percentage(2)

0.7

%

0.6

%

0.7

%

0.7

%

Total miles (in thousands)

34,044

29,114

132,597

108,814

Intermodal Segment:

Revenue (in thousands)

$

22,776

$

24,523

$

88,733

$

90,394

Loads

8,708

9,731

36,444

36,309

Average tractors

125

107

106

91

Brokerage Segment:

Revenue (in thousands)

$

27,381

$

26,478

$

96,709

$

108,893

Loads

13,928

15,690

58,986

63,200

At December 31, 2020 and December 31, 2019:

Total tractors(1)

3,331

3,212

Average age of company tractors (in years)

1.6

1.8

Total trailers

5,395

5,464

Average age of company trailers (in years)

3.0

2.4

Ratio of trailers to tractors(1)

1.6

1.7

Three Months

Year

Ended December 31,

Ended December 31,

(In thousands)

2020

2019

2020

2019

Net cash provided by operating activities

$

34,891

$

34,439

$

189,598

$

156,460

Net cash (used for) investing activities

(12,577

)

(42,020

)

(106,325

)

(140,509

)

Net cash (used for) financing activities

(44,466

)

(1,438

)

(48,607

)

(41,253

)

Weighted average shares outstanding:

Basic

82,690

82,043

82,527

81,945

Diluted

83,311

82,824

83,164

82,670


(1

)

Includes tractors driven by both company-employed drivers and independent contractors. Independent contractors provided 143 and 92 tractors as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively.

(2

)

Represents the percentage of miles for which the company is not compensated.