Quality Distribution says preliminary 4Q results show $15.5M loss

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Quality Distribution on Tuesday, Feb. 12, announced preliminary unaudited revenue and earnings results for the fourth quarter and full year 2007.

The company estimates revenue (excluding fuel surcharge) for the fourth quarter of 2007 will be about $159.0 million as compared to $152.4 million for the fourth quarter of 2006. The company expects to record a pre-tax loss for the fourth quarter 2007 of about $15.5 million as compared to pre-tax income of $1.2 million for the same period last year. The estimated results for the fourth quarter 2007 include two weeks of results from the company’s recent acquisition of Boasso, which closed Dec. 18.

The company estimates revenue (excluding fuel surcharge) for the 12 months ended Dec. 31 will be about $656.0 million as compared to $643.9 million in 2006. The company expects a pre-tax loss in 2007 of about $9.7 million as compared to pre-tax income of $18.2 million for the full year 2006.

“2007 and the fourth quarter in particular were disappointing from an operating perspective,” said Gary Enzor, president and chief executive officer of Tampa, Fla.-based Quality Distribution. “Our core trucking business had top-line growth in October and November of 2 percent to 3 percent, but December saw a decline in year-over-year trucking revenue of 4.5 percent.”

The weakening economy, particularly the construction and automotive sectors, had a negative effect on growth and profitability throughout the quarter and the year, Enzor said. “In spite of the weakness in these sectors, trucking revenue in January was up 2.8 percent as compared with last year, and driven by the impact of the Boasso and Brite Clean acquisitions, total revenue excluding fuel surcharge was up approximately 15 percent in January.

“Based on the start-up of new contracts in February and the closing of two small acquisitions, we believe we will see further top-line revenue growth in our trucking business throughout the coming year,” Enzor said. “Absent unforeseen circumstances, we believe we are on the path to producing the results our shareholders deserve.”