Landstar announces lower 4Q net income, revenue

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Landstar System Inc. on Wednesday, Jan. 27, reported 2009 fourth-quarter net income of $18.6 million from revenue of $547.7 million. Net income for the 2008 fourth quarter was $24.6 million from revenue of $603.8 million.

The company said its variable cost business model continued to generate significant cash flow. During 2009, the company purchased 1.625 million shares of its common stock at a total cost of $55.8 million and completed two acquisitions, while at the same time reduced borrowings on its senior credit facility by $30 million. Under the company’s authorized share purchase program, the Company currently has a total of 1,375,000 shares of its common stock available for purchase.

“I am pleased with the way the Company finished 2009, particularly as it relates to revenue,” said Henry Gerkens, chairman, president and chief executive officer of the Jacksonville, Fla.-based company. “Sequentially, Landstar was able to increase revenue by 9 percent over the 2009 third quarter, and that was significantly better than has been experienced in the fourth quarter compared to the third quarter in each of the prior three years. The increased revenue was primarily the result of a general increase in rate per load of approximately 4 percent, combined with increased loadings of approximately 6 percent over the 2009 third quarter.”

Gerkens, who remains cautiously optimistic about 2010, said that through the first several weeks of January, he has seen daily volume increases of about 5 to 10 percent compared to January 2009, while rate per load continues to show improvement. “Assuming these trends continue for the balance of the quarter, I would anticipate 2010 first-quarter revenue to increase over the 2009 first-quarter revenue in a mid- to upper-single-digit range,” he said.