Friday, May 13, 2005

Yellow Reports Doubling of Profits in 1Q

Yellow Roadway Corp. on Thursday said it more than doubled first-quarter profits, beating Wall Street predictions, as it saw record revenues in all of its trucking and logistics divisions. For the three months ending March 31, the Overland Park, Kan.-based company reported earnings of $48.89 million, or 96 cents per share, compared with $18.16 million, or 38 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago. Excluding money it made from disposing of property, Yellow Roadway had earnings of 92 cents per share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial expected earnings of 91 cents per share. Revenues for the quarter increased 8 percent to $1.68 billion. "Our first quarter results reflect the strong and sustained performance of all of our operating compani! es supported by a good economy, cost synergies and firm pricing," Bill Zollars, Yellow's chairman, president and chief executive officer, said in a written statement. Results were released after the market closed Thursday, but Yellow shares closed up $1.95, or 3.9 percent, to $51.81 on the Nasdaq Stock Market. They fell $1.41 cents, or 2.7 percent, in after-hours trading. Yellow shares have been trading at a 52-week range of $32.01 to $64.47. The results came against a backdrop of fuel price hikes and slowing shipping demand, which have tripped up other freight haulers, including USF Corp., the company Yellow plans to acquire later this year. Chicago-based USF said two weeks ago that a slowdown in the auto industry and competition elsewhere in the country would push earnings to between 12 cents and 16 cents a share, far below analysts' estimates of 38 cents per share. USF will report first quarter results Friday. Yellow's three trucking divisions showed strong growth from the prior year. Yellow Transportation earnings increased 71.7 percent to $46.2 million on revenues of $791.2 million; Roadway Express profits more than doubled to $36.5 million on revenues of $766 million; New Penn Express earnings increased 39.6 percent to $8 million on revenues of $65 million; and the company's Meridian IQ logistics business reported earnings of $1.03 million on revenues of $56.4 million. The company said it continued to expect annual earnings between $5.10 and $5.30 per share, including a 29-cent dilution from convertible securities, and second quarter earnings between $1.25 and $1.35. Those expectations don't include any impact from the USF merger.

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