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Werner Reports Second-Best Ever Q3 Earnings Despite Softer Freight Environment

FreightWaves

Werner Enterprises Inc. (NASDAQ: WERN) reported net income of $39 million, or $0.56 per share, for the third quarter in 2019. The company's results marked an 18% decrease from $47.5 million for the same quarter a year ago.

The Omaha, Nebraska-based company reported net income for the first nine months of 2019 was $118.4 million, up 4% from $113.6 million for the same period in 2018.

Third-quarter revenue dipped 2% to $618.3 million, down from $629.7 million in the third quarter of 2018. Revenue was $1.84 billion, up 2%, for the first nine months of the year, compared with $1.81 billion for the same timeframe in 2018.

"We are pleased to report another strong earnings quarter, the second-highest third-quarter earnings in our history," Derek Leathers, chief executive of Werner, said in its earnings release

In third quarter 2019, the freight and rate markets were "meaningfully softer," Leathers said, but "showed signs of seasonal improvement towards the end of the quarter."

Werner's truckload revenue was $480.4 million, a decrease of $4.4 million compared to the third quarter in 2018. The company said the 1% drop in truckload revenue was due to an $11.2 million drop in fuel surcharge revenue and a 1.5% dip in average revenues per truck.

The company's operating ratio was 89.8 for the third quarter, compared with 87.9 for the same quarter a year earlier.

Werner's dedicated fleet totaled 4,620 tractors, comprising around 57% of its 8,010 tractors in its truckload segment fleet.

Logistics revenue dropped to $121.3 million, down 6% or $8.1 million, compared with $129.4 million in the third quarter in 2018. 

Werner said it attributes the decline in its logistics revenue to "significantly lower intermodal volume impacted by a delayed peak season and excess trucking capacity in the market compared to third quarter 2018," according to its release.

"Our performance in third-quarter 2019 in a relatively challenging freight market demonstrates the strength of our strategic operating model," Leathers said.

Chart: FreightWaves' SONAR

Image by Renee Gaudet from Pixabay

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