J.B. Hunt says 3Q profit up 45%

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J.B. Hunt Transport Services on Friday, Oct. 13, said its third-quarter earnings soared 45 percent, due mostly to strength in the truckload carrier’s intermodal and dedicated businesses. Net income increased to $57.8 million, up from $39.8 million during the same period last year. Revenue rose 7 percent to $858.3 million from $801.1 million during the same period a year ago.

The Lowell, Ark.-based company cited significant margin and revenue improvements in intermodal shipments, and also reported margin and revenue gains in dedicated contract services. The company also said it put more trucks on the road in the period to support additional intermodal and dedicated business, while freight rates and fuel surcharges also rose from a year ago.

Revenue from J.B. Hunt’s traditional truck service, however, was relatively flat and income fell 11 percent. The company cited the impact of a decision to raise wages in an effort to combat the industry’s driver shortage, as well as a slow start to the peak shipping season. Year-over-year comparisons in the segment also were made difficult due to the boost in business from storm relief in 2005.