Heartland Express reports higher 1Q revenue, profit

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Heartland Express on Thursday, April 19, announced financial results for the quarter ended March 31. Operating revenues for the quarter increased 6.2 percent to $143.4 million from $135.0 million in the first quarter of 2006. Net income increased 14.3 percent to $22.6 million from $19.7 million in the 2006 period. For the quarter, Heartland Express posted an operating ratio of 78.2 percent and a 15.7 percent net margin.

The Coralville, Iowa-based company said it ended the first quarter with cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments of $365.1 million, a $33.8 million increase from the $331.3 million reported on Dec. 31, 2006. The first-quarter net cash flow from operations of $34.1 million was 23.8 percent of its operating revenues, according to the company, and its balance sheet continues to be debt-free with total assets of $700.7 million.

Heartland said the average age of its tractor fleet was 1.5 years at March 31, with the entire fleet comprised of 2005 or newer model year Internationals; the average age of the company’s trailer fleet was 3.3 years at March 31. The company also began the upgrade of its trailer fleet in the first quarter with the purchase of 2008 Wabash trailers; Heartland said it took delivery of 35 new tractors and 100 new trailers during the quarter.