USA Truck reports 3Q net income down 19.1%

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USA Truck announced Thursday, Oct. 19, that base revenue of $96.7 million for its third quarter ended Sept. 30, an increase of 1.2 percent from $95.5 million for the same quarter of 2005. However, net income decreased 19.1 percent to $3.4 million, down from $4.2 million for the year-ago period.

Base revenue increased 4.9 percent from $279.5 million for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2005, to $293.1 million for the same period of 2006. But net income has decreased 0.6 percent from $11.3 million for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2005, to $11.2 million for the same period this year.

“Freight demand was noticeably down during what is historically a strong quarter,” said Robert M. Powell, chairman and chief executive officer of the Van Buren, Ark.-based company. “While demand was steady throughout the second half of the quarter, we did not experience increasingly robust volumes in the mid-August through September timeframe as we typically do. Evidence of that soft shipping environment is found in our increased empty mile factor, which is traditionally a good barometer of freight availability.”

Powell said the softer demand, along with the operational challenges created by last fall’s U.S. Department of Transportation hours-of-service rule changes, resulted in fewer miles per tractor per week.