Frozen Food Express posts 1Q net loss on higher revenue

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Frozen Food Express Industries Inc. on Monday, April 28, announced its financial and operating results for the quarter ended March 31. Revenue increased 9.6 percent to $116.7 million from $106.5 million in the 2007 quarter. Excluding fuel surcharges, revenue increased 2.1 percent to $93.7 million from $91.8 million during the first quarter of 2007.

FFEX incurred a loss from operations during the 2008 period of $1.7 million versus a loss of $668,000 from the comparable period of 2007. The temperature-controlled transportation company incurred a pretax loss of $1.6 million during the first quarter of 2008 as compared to a pretax loss of $456,000 from the 2007 quarter. FFEX incurred a net loss of $825,000 during the 2008 period compared to a net loss of $233,000 in the comparable 2007 period.

“It’s no secret that the economy is not where it was this time last year,” said Stoney M. “Mit” Stubbs, president and chief executive officer of Dallas-based FFEX. “When the economy heads down, truckers are usually leading the pack. That’s the bad news. The good news is that truckers usually lead the pack on the way up as well. Layer on top of that what FFEX has accomplished since this time last year. We have improved some fundamentals on the revenue side. We have expanded both of our asset-lite service offerings, logistics and intermodal. But with the weak economy in 2008, there is only so much that we can do on the linehaul-trucking revenue side. We will do all we can.”

Stubbs said FFEX’s ability to grow its revenue profitably during the past 15 months has been impeded by an industrywide oversupply of trucks. “Very recently, I have begun to see reports from some industry-watchers that this may have started to correct itself,” he said. “Excess capacity may be starting to exit our space. We’ll know more about that in the next several weeks and months.”