Monday, April 24, 2006

Arkansas Best profit falls, hurt by pension charge

Arkansas Best Corp on Monday said its first-quarter earnings fell, hurt by a charge related to the transportation holding company‘s pension benefit plan.

The Ft. Smith, Arkansas-based company said it earned $6.1 million, or $0.24 per share, compared with $10.5 million, or 41 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Excluding an accounting charge of $5.1 million related to distributions from the company‘s unfunded supplemental pension benefit plan, the company earned 44 cents per share. Analysts polled by Reuters Estimates, on average, expected earnings of 49 cents per share.

Quarterly revenue was $451 million, a per-day increase of 8 percent from the 2005 period, the company said. Reuters Estimates had projected revenue of $445 million.

The company said its ABF Freight System, a trucking operation, had first quarter 2006 revenue of $414 million, a per-day increase of 7.7 percent compared to first quarter 2005 revenue.

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