Arkansas Best’s third-quarter net income up 48 percent

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Arkansas Best Corp.’s third-quarter net income increased 48 percent, helped by a $9.8 million gain related to the sale of several terminals.

In a Monday, Oct. 24 press release, the Fort Smith, Ark.-based transportation company posted net income of $40.6 million, or $1.59 a share, compared with $27.4 million, or $1.07 a share, in the year-ago period.

Excluding an after-tax gain of $9.8 million, or 38 cents a share, related to the July sale of three terminal facilities in California, Arkansas Best posted earnings of $1.21 a share. Analysts, on average, expected earnings of $1.10 a share, according to Thomson First Call.

Revenue rose 6.1 percent to $489.9 million from $461.9 million in the year-ago period. Analysts, on average, expected revenue of $485 million.

The company’s largest subsidiary, ABF Freight System, saw revenue increase 5.5 percent to $451.8 million. ABF’s results showed an improvement in operating margins because of good pricing and cost controls, said Robert A. Young III, ABF chairman and CEO.

“ABF’s profitability improved as a result of reducing the use of rail in higher-cost lanes” and the associated equipment shuttles, Young said. “ABF used fewer local cartage agents for shipment pickup and delivery and reduced employee overtime.”