J.B. Hunt posts lower 4Q net earnings, higher revenue

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J.B. Hunt Transport Services on Tuesday, Jan. 29, announced financial results for the fourth-quarter and full-year periods ending Dec. 31. For the fourth quarter, net earnings were $54.3 million compared to $57.8 million during the same period in 2006. For the full year, net earnings were $213 million compared to $219 million in 2006.

For the fourth quarter, revenue was $945 million, up 11 percent; and operating income was $96 million, up 1 percent. For the full year, revenue was $3.49 billion, up 5 percent; and operating income was $369 million, down 1 percent. Fourth-quarter results include an $8.4 million pretax charge to write down the value of certain assets held for sale, while 2006 fourth-quarter results include a $12.4 million pretax charge for insurance costs.

“We continue to demonstrate progress toward moving our economic model from that of a primarily asset-based truckload carrier of the past to an asset-light transportation company,” said Kirk Thompson, president and chief executive officer of Lowell, Ark.-based J.B. Hunt. “Our industry-leading Intermodal business had the best fourth quarter ever and our best year in history in 2007. In addition, our Dedicated Contract Services segment fared extremely well in a very difficult freight environment.

“While our Truck segment continues to reflect one of the worst freight recessions in memory, ICS’s (Integrated Capacity Solutions) revenue grew 259 percent during fourth-quarter 2007 compared to the same period of 2006,” Thompson said. “The rampup continued with year-over-year growth of 146 percent in the third quarter, 53 percent in the second quarter and 26 percent in the first quarter. We plan to continue to grow the segments that are producing acceptable returns on invested capital while reducing the Truck segment until acceptable margins are achieved. Overall, we are extremely pleased with these results.”