Celadon 3Q net income up 74.1 percent

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Celadon Group has announced its financial and operating results for the three and nine months ended March 31, the third fiscal quarter of the company’s fiscal year ending June 30. All earnings per share amounts reflect the company’s 3-for-2 stock split effective Feb. 15.

For the quarter, total revenue increased 6.3 percent, to $115.3 million from $108.5 million in the 2005 quarter. Revenue, before fuel surcharges, increased 1.6 percent, to $100.8 million from $99.2 million in the 2005 quarter. Net income increased 74.1 percent, to $4.7 million from $2.7 million in the 2005 quarter.

For the nine months ended March 31, total revenue increased 10.5 percent, to $353.5 million from $319.8 million for the same period last year. Revenue, before fuel surcharges, increased 4.2 percent, to $307.1 million from $294.7 million for the same period last year. Net income increased 71.1 percent, to $14.2 million from $8.3 million for the same period last year.

“We are pleased to report another quarter of significant earnings growth driven by strong operating results across nearly all measures,” says Steve Russell, chairman and chief executive officer of Indianapolis-based Celadon. “Our results for the quarter were assisted by a favorable relationship between freight demand and truckload capacity. We believe capacity growth in our industry continues to be constrained by a shortage of qualified drivers.”

According to Russell, the March quarter is generally Celadon’s most challenging quarter due to seasonally lower demand and winter weather. “Average revenue per tractor per week, excluding fuel surcharge, our main measure of asset productivity, improved by 5.2 percent, to $2,883 from $2,740, as a result of higher rates per mile and improved miles per tractor,” Russell says. “Our average revenue per loaded mile, excluding fuel surcharge, increased by 3.5 percent, to $1.49 from $1.44. Average length of haul increased by 28 miles, to 1,008 from 980 the same period last year. Our operating ratio — defined as operating expenses, net of fuel surcharge, as a percentage of freight revenue — improved to 92.1 percent from 94.6 percent.”

During the quarter, the company completed a 3-for-2 stock split effected in the form of a 50 percent stock dividend paid on Feb. 15. This raised the outstanding shares to about 15.3 million.