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USA Truck Blames Soft Freight Environment, Declining Spot Rates For Lower Second-Quarter Results


USA Truck (NASDAQ: USAK) blames a softer freight environment, declining spot rates and unrealized bid awards for its lower-than-expected second-quarter results. 

The latest financial news comes just three months after the company posted its most profitable first-quarter results since 2006 in late April.

The Van Buren, Arkansas-based carrier reported second-quarter 2019 adjusted net income of $0.3 million, or $0.03 per share, compared to net income of $2.5 million, or $0.31 per share, in the second quarter of 2018.

"These factors combined to put pressure on our performance," said James Reed, president and chief executive of USA Truck. "Despite increased spot market participation, we were able to maintain the gains made in past quarters in our base revenue per loaded mile and further improved our deadhead percentage both year-over-year and sequentially."

The company reported that its consolidated operating revenue for the second quarter of the year increased $10.8 million to $96.5 million, or 12.6 percent, compared to the same quarter in 2018. 

The base revenue per loaded mile remained essentially flat at $2.140 year-over year and decreased $0.104, or 4.6 percent, sequentially.

"This sequential decrease is primarily a result of the increased spot market volume, which drove our rate per mile lower," the company said in its earnings report.

Base revenue per available tractor per week decreased $99 per week, or 2.9 percent, compared with the second quarter of 2018.

The average number of seated tractors was 1,817, a 16.6 percent increase compared with the second-quarter 2018 average of 1,558.

Operating revenue in the logistics division was $39.6 million for the second quarter of 2019, a decrease of $11 million, or 21.8 percent year-over-year.

The company's adjusted operating income was $1.1 million, down from $2.2 million in the second quarter of 2018.

The company's revenue per load decreased 18.4 percent, or $310 per load, compared with the same period in 2018.

USA Truck's load count decreased 4.2 percent, or 1,242 loads, compared with the second quarter in 2018.

"Even in the face of these challenges, the company remained profitable in the quarter," Reed said in the release. "We believe that staying profitable in this market demonstrates that the USA Truck self-help story is working to improve results."

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