Saturday, July 29, 2006

Trucking firm YRC could start union talks early

YRC Worldwide Inc., the biggest U.S. trucker, said it's prepared to start contract talks early with the Teamsters union, following an approach taken by United Parcel Service Inc.

``We'd be interested in doing that,'' YRC CEO William Zollars, 58, said in an interview Friday, without giving a time frame for a possible reopening. The company's Teamsters contract, covering 50,000 employees, expires in 2008.

Early talks would reassure customers, Zollars said. UPS, the biggest package shipping company, lost business in 2002 as Teamsters talks approached a strike deadline. Last month, UPS decided to move up the start of talks for its current Teamsters contract, covering about 210,000 drivers and dock workers, which expires in two years.

YRC, once known as Yellow Corp. and now as parent company to Akron-based Roadway Express, and other truckers suffered cargo diversions in 1998 and during a 28-day Teamsters strike in 1994. Since the current contract covering multiple employers was signed in 2003, YRC bought two Teamsters trucking companies covered by the pact, Roadway Corp. and USF Corp., leaving Arkansas Best Corp. as the only other rival under it.

Zollars wouldn't give a time frame for reopening talks. YRC, of Overland Park, Kan., will talk to the union about the possibility, he said. There is no scheduled date for talks.

YRC this week reported a second-quarter profit of $92.3 million, up 21 percent from a year earlier.

Teamsters Oppose Flawed Pension Bill, Fight for Retirement Security

Official Statement Of Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa

The so-called Pension Reform Act of 2006, H.R. 2830, passed by the House tonight will devastate important retirement security protections for millions of workers in this country and shatter the foundation of our nation's private pension system.

The pension crisis in the United States is very real, and this flawed bill will only worsen it. Americans who have worked a lifetime to secure a stable and dignified retirement will have those promises ripped from their hands in the form of a "red zone" provision that allows for a reduction in vested benefits of multi-employer plans. No worker should be forced to live in fear of losing pension benefits they have already earned.

The 1.4 million hardworking Teamsters and their families will not stand by and allow Congress to give corporate America the green light to dump its retirement obligations to enrich the bottom line. The Teamsters have embarked on one of the largest grass-roots legislative programs in the history of our great union to defeat this bad legislation. We are mobilizing our 1.4 million members to take unprecedented action to stop the destruction of secure retirement in this country.

This pension bill shows that politicians in Washington have lost sight of the people they represent. I call on every member of Congress to prove their commitment to working families by doing everything they can to defeat this bill. Should Congress pass this anti-worker legislation, the Teamsters Union will not forget those who choose corporations over workers in November's mid- term elections.

Friday, July 28, 2006

YRC Worldwide Q2 Earnings Rise

Thursday after the bell, YRC Worldwide Inc. reported second quarter earnings that increased from last year and comprehensively beat analysts' estimate as a result of a combination of strong execution of its strategies, cost initiatives, and a good economy. The company's quarterly revenue increased 23% from last year. The company reiterated its full year 2006 revenue and earnings forecast for the full year 2006.

The Overland Park, Kansas-based transportation service provider reported net income for the second quarter of $92.3 million or $1.58 per share, compared to $76.1 million or $1.38 per share for the year-ago quarter.

The current year second quarter net income includes $0.04 per share related to reorganization expenses and net gains on property disposals.

Adjusted earnings for the second quarter were $1.62 per share, compared to $1.40 per share in the prior year quarter.

On average, 11 analysts polled by First Call / Thomson Financial expected the company to earn $1.55 per share for the second quarter.

Operating income for the second quarter increased to $172 million from $136 million a year ago, while adjusted operating income increased to $177 million from $138 million last year.

YRC said operating revenue for the second quarter rose 23% to $2.57 billion from $2.09 billion in the same quarter last year. Four analysts had consensus revenue estimate of $2.56 billion for the company's second quarter.

Bill Zollars, Chairman, President and CEO of YRC Worldwide, said, "Our highest ever quarterly earnings per share of $1.62 was more than our revised guidance of $1.53 to $1.58, as all of our business units performed better than expected late in the quarter."

Second quarter revenue for YRC Regional Transportation rose to $654.1 million from $314.5 million a year ago, while Yellow Transportation revenue increased 4.1% to $885.9 million from $851.2 million last year.

Second quarter Roadway revenue grew 5.5% to $876.9 million from $830.9 million last year and Meridian IQ revenue increased to $153.6 million from $95.6 million in the last year's second quarter.

For the first-half of the year, the company reported net income of $134.4 million or $2.29 per share, compared to $126.0 million or $2.34 per share for the same period last year.

Adjusted earnings for the first-half were $2.34 per share, compared to $2.32 per share in the prior year period.

Operating revenue for the first-half grew 31% to $4.94 billion from $3.77 billion in the corresponding period last year.

Looking forward, the company expects third quarter earnings to be in the range of $1.70 to $1.80 per share. Analysts currently expect the company to earn $1.74 per share for the third quarter.

For the full year 2006, the company continues to expect operating revenue of $10 billion and earnings of $5.65 to $5.85 per share. Analysts currently expect the company to earn $5.58 per share on revenue of $10.19 billion for the full year 2006.

Among the company's competitors, Con-Way Inc. last week reported higher-than-expected second quarter earnings, citing a solid pricing environment and rising margins.

YRC shares, which are trading in the range of $36.07 to $55.15 in the last one year, closed Thursday's regular trading session at $41.61, down 40 cents and lost an additional $1.11 or 2.67% in after hours trading.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

UPS Freight Campaign Kicks Off in Indianapolis

The Teamsters’ campaign to organize workers at UPS Freight, formerly Overnite, will kick off in Indianapolis under the jurisdiction of Local 135, union leaders announced Tuesday during a conference call with local union officials.

“We’ll be submitting a majority of cards for Indianapolis soon and we hope to begin bargaining with UPS by the end of September,” said Ken Hall, Director of the Parcel and Small Package Division.

Hall was joined on the conference call by General President Jim Hoffa and Freight Division Director Tyson Johnson. The campaign will be a joint effort between the Parcel and Small Package Division and the Freight Division.

“This campaign is one of the most exciting developments for our union and we will need everyone’s help to make it successful,” Hoffa said.

“Indianapolis is the perfect location to begin,” said Johnson, who noted that Assistant Freight Division Director Gordon Sweeton will assist Hall in the upcoming contract negotiations in Indianapolis.

“The plan is to negotiate a strong contract in Indianapolis, and with that contract we can answer many of the potential questions that UPS Freight drivers would have about joining the union,” Hall said. “The contract will be the tool we use to successfully organize other terminals.”

Organizing one location and negotiating a strong contract is a better method than trying to organize multiple locations at once, the leaders said. There are currently more than 300 UPS Freight terminals around the country. The Teamsters had organized numerous locations at Overnite in the past but were unable to negotiate any contracts.

Local union leaders were unanimous in their support of the union’s plan to organize one location and then organize a strong contract.

“The old way didn’t work,” said Danny Barton, President of Local 135. “This is a real chance for all of us to work together.”

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Yellow gives the green light

Yellow Transportation will be title sponsor of this year’s Busch race at Kansas Speedway.

Overland Park-based Yellow Transportation announced Tuesday that it will return as title sponsor of the Yellow 300 NASCAR Busch Series race on Sept. 30 at Kansas Speedway.

James Welch, president and chief executive officer of Yellow, cited several factors in why his company sponsors the Busch race and the No. 00 Chevrolet driven by Johnny Sauter.

“Our customers love it,” said Welch. “We have about 300,000 customers, so any time we can do something that our customers enjoy, that’s something that is good for our company.”

Yellow will entertain between 300 and 500 customers during the race weekend, and Miller said those who come to the races “give us about three and a half times the business that our normal customers do.”

“Secondly, our employees really like racing,” said Miller, whose company has been a NASCAR sponsor since 1998. “We have about 24,000 employees, and we’ve done surveys that indicate a vast majority of our employees do follow racing and understand why we race.

“It’s a way to build esprit de corps and pride in our company. … And third, anything we can do to build our brand is important to our company.”

Kansas Speedway president Jeff Boerger welcomed the return of locally owned Yellow, which began its Busch series sponsorship last year.

“When we moved into the area, we wanted to partner with Kansas companies, because the Kansas taxpayer has a lot invested in this project, and we wanted to make sure the return on that investment is positive,” Boerger said.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Arkansas Best Corporation Announces Second Quarter Income

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Arkansas Best Corporation today announced second quarter 2006 net income
of $32.3 million, or $1.26 per diluted common share. Income from continuing
operations was $29.0 million, or $1.13 per diluted common share, compared
to second quarter 2005 income from continuing operations of $22.6 million,
or $0.88 per diluted common share. Arkansas Best's second quarter 2006
revenue was $479.3 million, an increase of 12.0% over second quarter 2005
revenue of $427.9 million.
As previously announced, in June 2006 Arkansas Best completed the sale
of Clipper Exxpress, its former intermodal transportation subsidiary.
Arkansas Best's discontinued operations include an after-tax gain on the
sale of Clipper of $0.12 per common share, which is subject to adjustments
based on the final closing balance sheet as of June 14, 2006. In addition,
discontinued operations include after-tax income of $0.01 per common share
associated with Clipper's second quarter operating results through the
closing date. Full Story.....