Knight announces jump in 3Q earnings, revenue

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Knight Transportation on Wednesday, Oct. 18, said its third-quarter earnings jumped 22 percent as fuel surcharges and sales of used equipment helped offset a softer freight environment, driver issues and higher fuel prices. Quarterly earnings rose to $18.9 million, up from $15.5 million during the same period last year. The latest results include a $600,000 expense related to equity-based compensation.

Revenue, excluding fuel surcharges, grew 15 percent to $146.6 million from $127.4 million. The Phoenix-based company said revenue from fuel surcharges rose 50 percent to $28.1 million from $18.7 million, and that despite weaker demand, it kept average freight revenues flat compared to an unusually robust 2005. The surcharges boosted revenue for the 2006 quarter to $174.7 million.

But the company said new regulations trimmed the miles its drivers traveled by 6.4 percent, and that fuel costs rose 23 percent versus last year. Fuel efficiency also fell because of new regulations, the company said.