Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Arkansas Best Corporation Announces First Quarter 2013 Results
First quarter 2013 net loss of $13.4 million, or $0.52 per share
Emerging, non-asset-based businesses continue growth trends and cash generation
ABF labor contract negotiations continue and remain important to lowering ABF's cost structure
Arkansas Best Corporation today reported a first quarter 2013 net loss despite continued encouraging trends in its emerging businesses. Year-over-year revenue and tonnage growth at LTL carrier ABF Freight System, Inc., were offset by higher wage and benefit costs for employees represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
Arkansas Best's first quarter 2013 revenue was $520.7 million compared to revenue of $440.9 million in the first quarter of 2012. The first quarter net loss was $13.4 million, or $0.52 per share, compared to a first quarter 2012 net loss of $18.2 million, or $0.71 per share. Last year's first quarter results included the effects of an unusually low corporate tax benefit rate and unusually high workers' compensation claims costs. Combined, these items increased last year's first quarter net loss by $0.31 per share.
Arkansas Best's emerging, non-asset-based businesses continue to display strength in their revenue growth and cash flow generation. Freight brokerage and vehicle roadside and preventive maintenance grew first-quarter revenue 82% and 45%, respectively, and improved operating income. Operating results at Panther Expedited Services, Inc., were impacted by reduced demand for expedited services and investments made in sales and service locations for future growth. On a combined basis, Panther and all of the other non-asset-based businesses generated first quarter 2013 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization ("EBITDA") of $3.4 million, versus slightly negative EBITDA in the first quarter of 2012. "First quarter revenue and operating income at our emerging businesses reflected growth and improvement as we invested heavily in these businesses during 2012. They represent a critical piece of Arkansas Best's strategy to achieve sustained profitability," said Arkansas Best President and Chief Executive Officer Judy R. McReynolds. "The investments made so far have improved the financial performance of these subsidiaries and strengthened their service offerings and their ability, both individually and through significant cross-selling opportunities, to better serve customers with full supply-chain solutions."
ABF Freight's first-quarter operating loss deepened despite revenue growth and improving business levels. McReynolds noted that the company's high-cost structure continues to weigh on results, underscoring the need for a more rational labor agreement that reflects the increasingly competitive LTL industry. "After months of hard work and a second extension of contract talks through May 31, the negotiating teams continue to make progress on developing a contract agreement for our Teamster-represented employees that is expected to provide ABF greater operational flexibility and lower costs in order to effectively compete in the future." Full Report..........