Knight says 1Q net income, non-surcharge revenue both down

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Knight Transportation Inc. announced its financial results for the first quarter ended March 31. For the quarter, total revenue increased 5.9 percent to $176.4 million from $166.5 million for the same quarter of 2007. Revenue, before fuel surcharge, decreased 2.4 percent to $141.3 million from $144.8 million for the same quarter of 2007. Net income decreased to $11.4 million from $16.6 million for the same period of 2007.

“The challenging truckload freight environment continued in the first quarter and was accompanied with diesel fuel prices reaching unprecedented highs,” says Kevin P. Knight, chairman and chief executive officer of the Phoenix-based company. “Looking forward, we believe that the supply of for-hire trucks has ceased to expand and, in fact, is now retracting.”

Knight said continued high fuel prices and continued pressure on freight pricing and fuel surcharges should expedite the retraction towards market equilibrium. “In addition, we hope that the various forms of stimulus to the broader economy, that were not present a year ago, will have a positive impact on freight demand as the year progresses,” he said. “Although it is difficult to predict the timing with any certainty, we expect a reduction of trucking capacity and increase in economic activity to have a positive impact on freight rates and equipment utilization over time.”