Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Arkansas Best To Elect 3 Directors, Vote On Pay Plan

Shareholders of Arkansas Best Corp. of Fort Smith will elect three directors at the company's annual meeting April 22 and vote on a proposal to raise maximum executive pay from $1 million to $3 million annually.

Directors up for re-election to one-year terms are John W. Alden, retired vice chairman of United Parcel Service of America Inc. of Atlanta; Frank Edelstein, a consultant with Kelso & Co. Inc. of New York, a private equity investment company; and Bob Young, retired CEO of Arkansas Best.

The board approved the executive compensation plan Feb. 18, Arkansas Best said in its annual proxy statement filed with the federal Securities & Exchange Commission.

In 2009, the top five officials at Arkansas Best and their total compensation were Robert A. Davidson, who retired as Arkansas Best's president and CEO on Dec. 31, $1.7 million; Wesley Kemp, COO and president of Arkansas Best Freight, the company's main subsidiary, $904,000; Roy M. Slagle, senior VP of Arkansas Best subsidiary ABF Freight System Inc. $619,000; Senior VP Christopher D. Baltz, $586,000; and Judy McReynolds, the company's CFO who succeeded Davidson as CEO on Jan. 1, $554,000.

The annual meeting will be held at the corporate headquarters in Fort Smith.

YRC continues layoffs, sees shipping uptick

As cost-cutting continues, YRC Worldwide Inc. has eliminated about 2,000 jobs since the end of 2009, the head of the company said today.

Bill Zollars, YRC's chairman and CEO, told analysts at a J.P. Morgan conference that YRC currently has about 34,000 employees companywide, down from about 36,000 in December.

By the end of 2010, YRC plans to take out an additional $300 million in annual costs, according to Zollars. About $200 million of those cuts will be finished by mid-year.

"A lot of that is headcount-related," he told analysts at Morgan's aviation, transportation and defense conference. "We're continuing to get big reductions in costs as we regain volume." Full Story......

YRC: not many economic recovery signs

The CEO of YRC Worldwide Inc. said Tuesday he has not seen consistent signs of an economic recovery, although the trucker's business is improving.

Speaking at the JPMorgan Aviation, Transportation and Defense conference, Bill Zollars said there is no expectation of an economic rebound in the short term.

"We're not banking on it, but if it does, that will be more wind at our back," he said.

YRC, which operates trucks under the names New Penn, Holland, Yellow and Roadway, had a brush with bankruptcy near the end of 2009 -- the result of more than a year of financial turmoil.

YRC managed a successful debt-for-equity swap at the end of the year, which virtually wiped out shareholders to satisfy creditors. The company had just $98 million in cash as of Dec. 31 and more than $1.07 billion in liabilities.

Last month the company reported a fourth-quarter operating loss $95.4 million, but it said then that it has momentum coming into this year. A debt-for-equity swap in late 2009 virtually wiped out shareholders to satisfy creditors.

Zollars said Tuesday that some customers are starting to show more confidence in the company and that shipping volume is improving.

Sunday, March 07, 2010


Teamsters Now Represent Nearly All Eligible UPS Freight Workers

UPS Freight workers in LaCrosse, Wis., unanimously voted to ratify their first-ever contract as Teamsters. The Teamsters now represent nearly all of the 12,600 UPS Freight drivers and dockworkers eligible to join the union.

The workers, who service hard-to-reach areas outside of UPS Freight’s existing terminals, are represented by Teamsters Local 695 in Madison, Wis.

“These workers now have a strong voice in the workplace and the benefit of working under a good contract,” said Teamsters Package Division Director Ken Hall. “We are proud to have these workers join our ranks and we look forward to representing them.”

“These workers were very patient but very anxious to become part of the bargaining unit,” said Wayne Schultz, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 695. “We’re very happy they are Teamsters and can now enjoy the benefits of the contract.”

Schultz credited Local 695 Business Agent Rob Moss for being the driving force to get these drivers into the bargaining unit.

“The drivers are thrilled to finally be Teamsters and we welcome them to our union,” Moss said.

The Teamsters kicked off the organizing campaign in 2006 when the union organized UPS Freight workers in Indianapolis and negotiated a contract with the company that was ratified by a 107-1 vote in October 2007. The Teamsters won a card-check agreement from UPS in December 2007, and in January 2008, launched its nationwide campaign. By November 2008, the Teamsters represented more than 12,400 UPS Freight workers in 42 states.

LTL Industry Shrinks 24.4 Percent

Total U.S. LTL revenue down to $25.2 billion in 2009, study shows

The less-than-truckload industry shrank 24.4 percent in 2009, as total U.S. LTL revenue plunged from $33.3 billion to $25.2 billion, according to an industry study.

The recession triggered by the 2008 global financial crisis spurred the worst decline in freight revenue in several years, the study by SJ Consulting Group revealed.

The LTL industry contracted less than 1 percent in 2008 and was basically flat in 2007 compared with 2006, despite a freight downturn in those years, according to the study.

Over the past three years, the LTL industry lost a quarter of the $33.7 billion revenue it had in 2006, the study shows, with most of that loss occurring in 2009.

The SJ Consulting survey ranks the top 25 LTL trucking companies by revenue. All the companies saw revenue drop by double-digit percentages, ranging from 10 to 47 percent. Full Story.....

YRC Worldwide Receives NASDAQ Notification

YRC Worldwide Inc. reported it was notified by The Nasdaq Stock Market on March 3, 2010 that it is not in compliance with Nasdaq Marketplace Rule 5450(a)(1) because shares of its common stock closed at a per share bid price of less than $1.00 for 30 consecutive business days. In accordance with Nasdaq Marketplace Rule 5810(c)(3)(A), the company has 180 calendar days, or until August 30, 2010, to regain compliance. This notification has no effect on the listing of the company's common stock at this time.

To regain compliance with the Nasdaq Marketplace Rules, the closing bid price of YRC Worldwide common stock must close at or above $1.00 per share for ten consecutive business days.

As previously announced, the company's stockholders at the February 17 special stockholders meeting approved an increase in the number of authorized common shares which allowed substantially all of the company's outstanding convertible Class A preferred stock to automatically convert to common stock. With the conversion of the convertible Class A preferred stock into common stock, the number of outstanding common shares listed and tradable on the NASDAQ exchange increased from approximately 97 million to approximately 1 billion shares.

Based upon the March 4, 2010 closing price on the Nasdaq exchange of $0.44 per common share, the company's market capitalization was approximately $450 million. Stockholders have authorized the company's board of directors, at their discretion, to effect a reverse stock split within a range from 5:1 to 25:1 bringing the approximately 1 billion outstanding shares to a post-reverse-stock-split range of approximately 40 million to approximately 200 million. Under the terms of the $70 million private placement transaction with respect to the company's new 6% convertible senior notes, the company agreed to not implement the reverse stock split prior to April 24, 2010. The company expects to effect the reverse stock split during the second quarter of the year.