Swift lowers third-quarter income forecast

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Swift Transportation reported that third-quarter income would be lower that previously anticipated due to fuel costs, expensing for the acceleration of stock options and the sale of unused trailers.

The Phoenix-based trucking company said Tuesday, Sept. 20 that income for the three months ended Sept. 30 would be 11 to 14 cents a share, including a $16.3 million expense for accelerating the vesting period of all 7.5 million employee stock options.

Swift noted that operations have been hurt by continued softness in freight demand seen during July and August and by a “dramatic spike” in the price of fuel.

Like most trucking companies, Swift uses a surcharge program but said the lag in recovering higher costs didn’t keep pace with the price of fuel. As a result, fuel costs would have an impact of 4 to 6 cents a share on quarterly earnings, the company said.

Before the impact of the options expensing and the asset sale, income would have been 30 to 33 cents a share, compared with 32 cents earned in the same period last year, according to Swift.

The carrier also said it would sell certain trailers, mostly specialized equipment, and record an expense of $6.5 million.