Heartland Express posts higher 3Q profit, operating revenues

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Heartland Express announced Monday, Oct. 20, that operating revenues for the third quarter ended Sept. 30 increased 15.9 percent to $169.9 million from $146.6 million in the third quarter of 2007. Net income increased 9.2 percent to $18.7 million from $17.1 million.

For the nine months ended Sept. 30, operating revenues increased 10.1 percent to $483.6 from $439.1 million during the same period in 2007. Net income decreased 15.0 percent to $50.6 million from $59.5 million. Operating income for the nine months was impacted negatively by about $7.9 million due to increased fuel costs, net of fuel surcharge revenue passed through to customers, and by about $6.7 million due to a reduction in gains on sales of property and equipment, the company said; net income for the nine-month period was impacted positively by about $2.9 million by a reduction of income tax expense due to FIN 48 adjustments.

The North Liberty, Iowa-based company said it continues to stress its fuel cost-controlling initiatives, which include taking advantage of bulk purchases where it is cost-effective to do so when compared to over-the-road purchases, reductions in tractor idle time and controlling out-of-route nonbillable miles. All of the company’s terminal locations have fueling capabilities.