Saia reports smaller 1Q net loss

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Saia Inc. on Thursday, April 29, reported its first-quarter 2010 results compared to the first quarter of 2009:
• Revenues were $212.2 million, an increase of 3 percent over the prior year quarter;
• Operating loss was $2.1 million compared to operating loss of $7.5 million;
• Net loss of $3.2 million compared to a loss of $6.3 million;
• Operating ratio was 101.0 vs. 103.6;
• LTL tonnage per workday was up 2.8 percent as LTL shipments per workday were flat with a 2.8 percent increase in weight per shipment; and
• LTL yield was down 0.2 percent due to competitive pricing partially offset by higher fuel surcharge.

Margins improved primarily due to cost reduction efforts and productivity initiatives, which included productivity improvement in load average, dock and clerical categories; terminal labor cost per bill improvement of 8.5 percent; lower accident severity and 30 percent improvement in lost time injuries; and improved cargo claims experience.

“While improved relative to 2009 trends, the environment remains difficult with soft tonnage and industry overcapacity, which continue to pressure yields,” says Rick O’Dell, president and chief executive officer of the Johns Creek, Ga.-based company. “We are addressing this challenging environment with measured pricing decisions, targeted sales and marketing programs and engineered efficiency initiatives. While we are beginning to see some rationalization in pricing, we have a long way to go to recover the yield deterioration experienced over the past two years.”

O’Dell said the company’s execution was solid on a number of fronts, including best-in-class on-time service and improved performance in key productivity metrics, safety and cargo claims. “Saia remains committed to managing through these difficult times with a relentless focus on our strategy of building density in our network, customer satisfaction and engineered process improvements to achieve long-term benefits for our customers and shareholders,” he said.