Knight posts 9% jump in 4Q profit

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Knight Transportation announced Wednesday, Jan. 24, that its fourth-quarter profit rose 9 percent, lifted by cost controls and higher revenue. Net income increased to $20.1 million from $18.5 million a year ago. Latest-quarter results include a $712,500 pre-tax impairment charge related to the Phoenix-based company’s investment with Transportation Resource Partners.

Total revenue climbed 6.3 percent to $174.9 million from $164.6 million a year earlier, fueled by fleet expansion, increased revenue per mile and the company’s purchase of Roads West Transportation. Before fuel surcharges, revenue increased 8.1 percent to $152.1 million from $140.8 million the year before.

For the full year, net income increased 18 percent to $73 million from $61.7 million a year ago. Total revenue increased 17 percent to $664.4 million from $566.8 million in the prior-year period.

“Continued positive results in fuel surcharge recovery, safety and used equipment sales, as well as our constant focus on cost controls, more than overcame expense increases relating to stock-based compensation costs, increased driver compensation, prices of revenue equipment and declining fuel efficiency due to emissions control regulations,” said Kevin P. Knight, chairman and chief executive officer.

Although freight demand remains soft, the company plans to continue evaluating the market for acquisition opportunities and grow its fleet over the medium- to long-term by 10 percent to 15 percent annually, Knight said.