Knight Transportation posts 4Q gains in revenue, net income

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Knight Transportation has announced improved fourth-quarter earnings and revenue, which Chairman and CEO Kevin Knight says was driven by a combination of fleet expansion and improved revenue per mile.

According to the Phoenix-based trucking company’s financial report released last week, net income increased 27.3 percent to $18.5 million; a year earlier, the company posted net income of $14.6 million. Total revenue increased nearly 30 percent to $164.6 million, compared with $126.8 for the same quarter of 2004. Revenue, before fuel surcharges, increased 22 percent to $140.8 million.

For the full year 2005, net income increased 29 percent to $61.7 million from $47.9 million in 2004. Total revenue for 2005 rose 28 percent to $566.8 million, compared with $442.3 million in 2004. Revenue, before fuel surcharges, increased 21 percent to $499 million.

“During the fourth quarter, our revenue growth was driven by a combination of fleet expansion and improved revenue per mile,” Knight says. “We benefited from opening new service centers, increasing service in existing centers, and a full quarter of revenue from Edwards Brothers, which we acquired in August 2005.”

Knight says the company will continue to grow its fleet by about 15 percent in 2006, “and, assuming gross domestic product growth remains favorable, we believe that our markets will continue to offer an environment for rate increases to offset the additional costs associated with driver pay, fuel and the introduction of the federally mandated 2007 engines.”

During the quarter, the company completed a 3-for-2 stock split effected in the form of a 50 percent stock dividend paid on Dec. 23; this was the company’s fifth 3-for-2 stock split since May of 1998, and raised outstanding shares to about 85.6 million.