Saturday, October 29, 2011

ABF Announces Third Quarter 2011 Results

Arkansas Best Corporation today announced third quarter 2011 net income of $12.3 million, or $0.46 per share, compared to a net loss of $0.7 million, or $0.03 per share in the third quarter of 2010.

Arkansas Best’s third quarter 2011 performance reflects strong improvement from its largest subsidiary, ABF Freight System, Inc. ABF produced healthy revenue and profit growth that resulted from improved account pricing in the midst of moderating tonnage levels. ABF improved its third quarter operating ratio by four and a half operating points versus the same period last year and by over two operating points versus this year’s second quarter.

“We are pleased to report another quarter of profitability resulting from the value and superior service that ABF offers in the marketplace. The ABF team is to be congratulated for producing better results in the face of an uncertain economic environment,” said Judy R. McReynolds, Arkansas Best President and Chief Executive Officer. “In looking ahead, we are prepared to appropriately adjust resources to business levels while maintaining a high level of service for our customers. Our blend of investments in people and technology as well as the unique logistics services provided to our customers put us in a good position as we cultivate opportunities for future growth and new offerings.”

Arkansas Best Corporation

Third Quarter 2011

Revenue of $510.9 million, a per day increase of 14.7% from the prior year third quarter revenue of $445.5 million

Net income of $0.46 per share compared to a net loss of $0.03 per share in the prior year third quarter

Includes market losses on the cash surrender value of life insurance of $0.05 per share compared to gains of $0.06 per share in the prior year period

ABF Freight System, Inc.

Third Quarter 2011

Revenue of $466.3 million compared to $409.9 million in third quarter 2010, a per-day increase of 13.8%

Tonnage per day decrease of 2.0% versus third quarter 2010

Total billed revenue per hundredweight of $27.10 compared to $23.38 in third quarter 2010, an increase of 15.9%, including increases in fuel surcharge

Operating income of $18.3 million compared to an operating loss of $2.6 million in third quarter 2010

Operating ratio of 96.1% compared to 100.6% in third quarter 2010

“Since March of this year, ABF’s year-over-year change in monthly tonnage has moderated, and beginning in August, tonnage has been below that of the same period last year. So far in October, ABF’s tonnage is lower than last October by between six and seven percent, but because of greatly improved yields, ABF revenues continue to be ahead of the same period last year by approximately 5%. We attribute the tonnage decline to weakening economic conditions, our efforts to improve account pricing and more difficult comparisons from last year,” said Ms. McReynolds. “Despite the softening in ABF’s freight, our pricing levels have improved significantly from recent recessionary levels. We constantly strive to grow ABF’s business with accounts that value our wide range of services. As a result, ABF’s overall group of accounts offers a better mix of business with yields that have contributed to the improved profitability we’ve experienced during the last two quarters.”

“ABF continues to focus on making investments in resources and personnel that strengthen the positive experience of our customers while improving our operational efficiencies,” said Ms. McReynolds. “In the third quarter, ABF and its exceptional employees were recognized and honored by three national publications, twice for excellence in information technology and once for ABF’s commitment to sustainability. Two ABF drivers achieved recognition for superior driving achievements, one as a national driving champion. Earlier this month, ABF earned the American Trucking Associations’ Excellence in Security Award for the sixth time of the 11 times it has been awarded,” said Ms. McReynolds. “As we move forward, we will continue to build on the strong foundation provided by ABF’s nationwide network and the relationship-forming skills of its well-trained sales force to offer additional services and to take advantage of new growth opportunities.”

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