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Werner 1Q net falls on bad weather, calendar shift

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- Trucking company Werner Enterprises reported a smaller first-quarter profit on Thursday, in part due to bad weather that caused expenses to rise.

The company earned $17.5 million, or 24 cents per share, during the quarter that ended March 31. That was down by almost 18 percent from its year-ago profit of $21.2 million, or 29 cents per share.

Revenue fell 1 percent to $492.9 million, from $498.4 million a year earlier.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet had been expecting a profit of 27 cents per share on revenue of $504.3 million.

Werner said demand for freight hauling was about the same as last year. But more severe weather in the most-recent quarter raised operating expenses 29 percent.

Also, the quarter was one day shorter than a year ago , and the timing of Easter hurt demand compared to last year, the company said. It said freight demand so far in April is softer than it was during the same period last year.

Each truck logged an average of 3.2 percent fewer miles each month, the company said. Average revenue per mile rose 1.3 percent.

Diesel fuel prices fell by 4 cents per gallon.

Werner shares rose 6 cents to close at $22.93 before the results were released. They were unchanged in aftermarket.