Saia posts higher 4Q operating income, lower revenue

user-gravatar Headshot

Saia Inc. today, Jan. 30, said fourth-quarter 2008 revenue was $231 million, down 5 percent from prior year, reflecting softer tonnage and declining fuel surcharge. Operating income from continuing operations was $5.3 million compared to $3.9 million.

Other fourth-quarter highlights include:

  • LTL tonnage per workday decreased 4.7 percent;
  • LTL yield decreased 0.2 percent due to reduced fuel surcharge partially offset by increasing length of haul; and
  • Prior-year quarter results included a charge of $0.04 per share resulting from an employment-related matter.
  • “I was pleased that our cost execution allowed us to achieve improved earnings per share and operating margins in spite of one of the worst economic environments in decades,” said Rick O’Dell, president and chief executive officer of Johns Creek, Ga.-based Saia. “Just as important, Saia employees again demonstrated best-in-class service by delivering 97.4 percent on-time delivery performance.”

    For the full year 2008, revenue exceeded $1.0 billion, an increase of 6 percent from 2007. Operating income from continuing operations was $26 million compared with $38 million, which included $2.4 million in integration expenses. Income from continuing operations was $9.7 million compared to $17.1.

    Other 2008 highlights include:

  • LTL tonnage per workday decreased 3.0 percent;
  • LTL yield increased 9.1 percent including the impact of higher fuel surcharge and longer length of haul; and
  • The impact of equity-based compensation was negligible compared to a prior-year benefit of $3.0 million.
  • “During 2008, we continued to focus on our strategy of building density, customer satisfaction, cost reduction supported by engineered process improvements, and effective balance sheet management,” O’Dell said. “While absolute profitability deteriorated due to the difficult environment, underlying fundamental execution on service and key cost metrics improved significantly in 2008. Our balance sheet also improved with a reduction in net debt by $56.9 million during the year.”

    O’Dell said the company believes its ability to execute on critical initiatives will allow it to continue to navigate through the current economic environment. “As we continue to capitalize on effective marketing and excellent service offerings, we feel that Saia’s broad coverage, reliable service and solid cost execution provide a solid foundation for long-term profitable growth and increased shareholder and customer value,” he said.

    Total debt was $136.4 million at Dec. 31. Net of the company’s $27.1 million cash balance at Dec. 31, net debt to total capital was 33.9 percent; this compares to total debt of $172.8 million and net debt to total capital of 45.3 percent at Dec. 31, 2007. Net capital expenditures from continuing operations for 2008 were $26 million; this compares to $89 million of capital expenditures in 2007. The company said it is planning net capital expenditures in 2009 of about $10 million; this reduced level is due to the uncertain economic environment and will be reevaluated as tonnage improves.

    Saia said that due to the deteriorating macroenvironment, declines in the stock market and the decline in the price of its common stock, it has experienced a significant decline in its market capitalization. As a result, Saia said it currently is performing an impairment analysis of its goodwill of about $35 million; in the event that the company determines its goodwill is impaired in whole or part, this would result in a one-time non-cash charge not to exceed the goodwill balance.