Saia posts higher 3Q revenues, lower operating income

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Saia Inc. on Friday, Oct. 24, reported third-quarter 2008 results. The company said it achieved revenues of $274 million, an increase of 11 percent over the prior-year quarter, and that:

  • Operating income was $7.5 million compared to $12.7 million;
  • Operating ratio was 97.3 vs. 94.9;
  • On a per-day basis, LTL tonnage was down 1.1 percent as LTL shipments were down 2.3 percent with a 1.2 percent increase in weight per shipment;
  • LTL yield was up 9.4 percent primarily due to the impact of higher fuel surcharges and longer length of haul; and
  • The prior-year quarter included a pre-tax gain of $1.7 million from the sale of real estate.
  • “Third-quarter revenue was negatively impacted by a weak economy, the competitive pricing environment and disruptions from two hurricanes in cities where Saia has significant market share,” said Rick O’Dell, president and chief executive officer of the Johns Creek, Ga.-based less-than-truckload company. “Cost increases resulted from fuel, inflationary pressure, health care and bad debt expense. Excluding the equity-based compensation variance and gain from property sale, I was relatively pleased that the operating ratio for the quarter would have been flat with last year.”

    Year-to-date 2008 results from continuing operations compared to year-to-date 2007 included:

  • Revenues of $800 million compared to $732 million;
  • Operating income of $20.4 million compared to $34.3 million; and
  • Net income of $8.3 million compared to $16.4 million.
  • “In order to preserve our strong financial position, we focused on prudent balance sheet management and reduced our debt position,” O’Dell said. “I am pleased that we have further increased our financial flexibility in the current uncertain economic environment. Our marketing initiatives continue the focus on building density in our existing geography, which should result in improved margins over time. We implemented necessary cost reductions to align resources with current volumes while maintaining our commitment to technology and engineered process improvements. Saia employees continue to provide customers outstanding service, with an on-time record of 97 percent in the quarter. We believe these efforts position Saia to manage through a difficult environment and further capitalize when industry fundamentals recover.”