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Monday, March 20, 2023

USA Truck swings to solid fourth-quarter profit

Trucking and logistics provider USA Truck Inc. (NASDAQ:USAK) swung decisively to a fourth- quarter profit and posted the best quarterly earnings-per-share results in its 38-year history, the company said late Thursday.

USA Truck, based in Van Buren, Arkansas, reported adjusted net income of $6.2 million, or 70 cents per diluted share. By contrast, the company lost $4.5 million on an adjusted basis in the 2019 fourth quarter, equal to a loss of 52 cents per diluted share. 

The results handily beat analysts’ EPS estimates, which ranged between 36 and 42 cents depending on the source. Shares were up as much as 13% in after-hours trading. Shares rose about 4% during the regular session.

Fourth-quarter operating revenue from the trucking and logistics units rose by nearly $35 million year-on-year to $158.8 million. The combined figures back out more than $10 million in fuel surcharge revenue.

The trucking segment’s operating ratio— the measure of revenues to expenses — moved in a positive direction, falling to 93.9% from 102.9% a year ago.

For the year, the trucking unit posted base revenue–excluding fuel surcharges–of $349.2 million, up from $328 million in the 2019 quarter. Adjusted operating income rose sharply to $11 million from $1.4 million. The strong fourth-quarter operating ratio helped the unit reduce its full-year ratio to 97.6% from 100.1%.

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