USA Truck Inc. on Thursday, July 22, announced base revenue of $94.9 million for the quarter ended June 30, an increase of 16.8 percent from $81.2 million for the same quarter of 2009. Net income was $0.9 million compared to a net loss of $1.1 million. For the six months ended June 30, base revenue increased 12.2 percent to $184.1 million from $164.1 million for the same period of 2009, and the company incurred a net loss of $2.1 million compared to a net loss of $3.0 million.
“We made solid year-over-year progress this quarter and dramatically improved our performance sequentially from the first quarter this year,” said Clifton R. Beckham, president and chief executive officer of Van Buren, Ark.-based USA Truck. “Through disciplined execution of our long-term strategic plan and aided by an improving operating environment and the sale of a fuel contract, we achieved our near-term goal of returning to profitability by the second quarter 2010.”
Beckham said the company’s priorities reflect its outlook for industry conditions, which presently are characterized by a considerable shortage of capacity. “This tight capacity environment has been growing steadily tighter since mid-February when we believe freight demand experienced a systemic improvement as businesses began to restock inventory in response to unsustainably low inventory levels,” he said. “However, stubbornly low inventory-to-sales ratios suggest that such buying is merely replenishing sales and not rebuilding inventory levels. So, although we do not describe today’s freight volumes as robust, they are substantially better than 2009 levels.”
Beckham said USA Truck believes this incremental improvement has revealed the dramatic exodus of trucking capacity over the past several years. “The result is a tight capacity environment that we expect may only grow tighter when the world economy returns to normal growth rates and when new government regulations – such as the Department of Transportation’s Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010, a wide-ranging performance based safety initiative – reduce the number of employable truck drivers,” he said. “We believe those eventualities coupled with long-term demographic trends reducing the population of qualified truck drivers and lack of Class 8 tractor builds over the past few years will converge to create an extended period of tight capacity in the industry.”