U.S. Xpress says 4Q revenue up, profit down

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U.S. Xpress announced Monday, Jan. 29, that its fourth-quarter profit fell 10 percent due to softness in the housing and automotive sectors. Quarterly income fell to $6.4 million, down from $7.1 million in the prior-year period. The company’s operating revenue rose 21 percent to $386 million from $318 million in the fourth quarter of 2005.

“We encountered a fourth-quarter freight environment more challenging than we anticipated as the normal seasonal freight surge failed to materialize,” said Max Fuller, co-chairman of Chattanooga, Tenn.-based U.S. Xpress. Fuller said softness in the housing and automotive sectors brought earnings down and “caused an influx of capacity in markets served by our truckload operations.” Truckload operating income decreased and freight demand was significantly weaker during the quarter, the company said.

For the year, the company reported its profit more than doubled to $20.1 million, up from $9.4 million in 2005. Operating revenue for the year climbed 26 percent to $1.47 billion from $1.16 billion in 2005.

U.S. Xpress also said its board authorized a stock repurchase of up to $15 million. The stock may be purchased until Jan. 26, 2008, the company said.