Arkansas Best announces lower 2Q net income, higher revenue

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Arkansas Best Corp. today, July 23, announced second-quarter 2008 net income of $16.2 million compared to second-quarter 2007 net income of $19.6 million. Revenue was $498.5 million compared to $463.7 million. On a year-to-date basis, Arkansas Best’s 2008 revenue was $946.0 million compared to $891.5 million.

ABF Freight System, the company’s largest subsidiary, had second-quarter 2008 revenue of $479.5 million, a per-day increase of 6.1 percent over second-quarter 2007. Operating income at ABF was $25.5 million compared to $30.5 million. ABF’s operating ratio was 94.7 percent versus 93.2 percent in the second quarter of 2007.

“We are disappointed by a 150 basis point increase in ABF’s operating ratio, although this may be typical of or better than industry results,” said Robert Davidson, president and chief executive officer of the Fort Smith, Ark.-based company. “On a year-to-date basis, Arkansas Best’s net income and ABF’s operating ratio are comparable with last year.”

ABF’s second-quarter 2008 total weight per day was flat compared to the same period last year. “Beginning with the fourth quarter of 2007, the trend of ABF’s year-over-year quarterly tonnage changes has steadily improved, though in very small increments,” Davidson said. “Essentially, there has been little change in the overall freight environment during that nine-month period. Though this economic decline has not been as deep as others in the past, it appears to be lasting longer. As a result, ABF will continue to carefully manage labor costs and equipment levels to match available freight in our system until economic conditions show meaningful improvement.”