Ryder’s 3Q profits higher than expected

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Ryder System announced higher profits that came in above analysts’ expectations. The company said Wednesday, Oct. 26 that net income rose to $63.3 million, or 98 cents a share, compared with $54.3 million, or 83 cents a share in the third quarter of 2004. The average estimate from analysts polled by Thomson First Call was for earnings of 93 cents a share and sales of $1.42 billion.

The vehicle fleet management company also set a fourth-quarter earnings target of 89 cents to 94 cents a share and raised its 2005 outlook $3.49 to $3.54 a share, up from a previous range of $3.42 to $3.52 a share. Analysts had projected 94 cents a share in the fourth quarter and $3.36 for 2005.

Revenue in Miami-based Ryder’s fleet management segment, its largest, rose 10 percent in the third quarter, “reflecting higher fuel costs, and continued growth in the rental product line,” according to the company’s statement.

Ryder Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Greg Swienton says the company responded to challenging factors in the third quarter, and the performance reflects continuing progress toward its profitable growth objectives. “Looking ahead, we expect new business and expansion activity to continue, and we have significant remaining opportunities to improve our cost structure,” Swienton says. “Our fourth-quarter forecast includes some restructuring costs that are expected to produce benefits in future periods.”