J.B. Hunt posts second quarter results

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Truckload and intermodal giant J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. reported $94 million in earnings (EBIT) and net income of $50.6 million for the second quarter of 2008. EBIT was down by two percent and net income dropped from $63.9 million in the corresponding period last year.

The carrier used growth in intermodal to overcome record fuel prices and a weak economy that forced a 20 percent decline in combined truck and dedicated operations, analysts noted. Excluding fuel surcharges, trucking revenue fell 23 percent. The Lowell, Ark.-based company eliminated 1,085 tractors over the past year. Despite reducing its fleet, utilization (miles/truck) decreased by 5.7 percent year-over-year.

Income from J.B. Hunt’s intermodal operations increased by 22 percent. Intermodal volumes were up 17 percent despite being slowed by the Midwest floods. Overall, revenue increased by 3 percent net of fuel, driven by firming up of prices and shifting its freight mix to intermodal.