Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Arkansas Best slips to loss in Q1

Transportation holding company Arkansas Best Corp. reported a loss in its first quarter, reflecting significantly lower freight levels, hurt by poor economy, and a very competitive pricing environment.

For quarter, the company posted a net loss of $18.16 million or $0.73 per share, compared to a net income of $8.54 million or $0.34 per share last year. The company noted that the quarterly results included $0.15 per share costs from the ABF RPM initiative compared to $0.10 per share in the preceding year.

Quarterly operating revenues fell to $339.68 million, a per-day decrease of 22.9%, from $447.51 million in the same quarter a year ago. Operating loss was $28.60 million, versus operating income of $13.15 million in the prior year. Interest and dividend income plunged to $930 thousands from $1.82 million in the previous year.

ABF Freight System, Inc., the largest subsidiary of Arkansas Best, generated revenues of $323.11 million, lower than last year's $427.75 million. Total billed revenue per hundredweight was $23.85, a decrease of 9.4%, compared to $26.32 in the prior year. The decline was mainly due to the steep decline in fuel surcharge compared to the first quarter of 2008. Other revenues and eliminations were $16.56 million, in comparison with $19.76 million in the preceding year.

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