USA Truck posts higher 2Q base revenue, net income

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USA Truck Inc. announced base revenue of $103.8 million for the second quarter ended June 30, an increase of 2.1 percent from $101.7 million for the same quarter of 2007. Net income increased from $1.6 million to $2.1 million.

For the six months ended June 30, base revenue increased 2.5 percent from $196.2 million to $201.0 million for the same period of 2008. Net income decreased 88.9 percent from $1.7 million for the six months ended June 30 to $0.2 million for the same period of 2008.

“Our employees responded under pressure this quarter by exhibiting excellent teamwork and tremendous effort in executing several internal initiatives designed to restore a measure of discipline to our operations,” said Clifton Beckham, president and chief executive officer of the Van Buren, Ark.-based company. “Conditions in the truckload industry have been challenging, characterized by suppressed freight volumes due to the slowing U.S. economy and record diesel fuel costs. This difficult operating environment appears to have caused an escalating exodus of truckload capacity from the marketplace.”

Beckham said the company’s internal efforts, coupled with diminishing industry capacity, resulted in a stabilization of its pricing and tractor utilization. “While our fuel costs were down as a percentage of base revenue, the decrease could have been greater if not for escalating diesel fuel prices,” he said. “A softer labor market for drivers and our focus on driver selection and training resulted in one of our lowest quarterly driver turnover rates this decade (88 percent), which helped drive down other operating expenses and costs by 60 basis points through reduced recruiting costs.”