Frozen Food Express posts $2.3M 3Q net loss

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Frozen Food Express Industries Inc. on Wednesday, Oct. 27, announced that total operating revenue for the third quarter ended Sept. 30 decreased 0.7 percent, or $0.6 million, to $93.9 million from $94.5 million in the third quarter of 2009. Total operating revenue, excluding fuel surcharges, decreased 3.1 percent to $79.5 million from $82.0 million and remained relatively unchanged compared to $80.0 million in the second quarter of 2010. After recognition of a $4.4 million tax benefit for the third quarter 2010 versus a tax benefit of $2.1 million for the third quarter 2009, the net loss for the third quarter was $2.3 million compared with a net loss of $2.6 million for the third quarter of 2009.

“Our LTL services showed nice year-over-year and sequential increases of 12.5 percent and 4 percent, respectively,” said Stoney “Mit” Stubbs, chairman and chief executive officer of the Dallas-based company. Less-than-truckload revenue increased 7.2 percent year over year and 6 percent sequentially. “It is encouraging to see our continued focus on delivering high-quality services and focused sales approach are putting our LTL services back on solid ground,” Stubbs said. “Our truckload services continue to achieve improved pricing yield with a 10.6 percent improvement, year over year, in revenue per loaded mile.”

For the nine months ended Sept. 30, total operating revenue decreased 2.5 percent, or $6.9 million, to $274.7 million from $281.6 million during the same period in 2009, while total operating revenue, excluding fuel surcharges, decreased 6.7 percent to $232.8 million from $249.5 million. The net loss for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2010, was $10.4 million, an improvement of $3.4 million, or 24.7 percent, compared to the net loss of $13.8 million during the same period in 2009.

“We saw pricing improve in the second quarter, and this trend continued in the third quarter,” says Russell Stubbs, the company’s president. “However, demand was not as robust in the third quarter as we experienced in the second quarter. Capacity continues to be a challenge due to a driver shortage, but it appears the rebound in the economy that drove demand in the second quarter, moderated in the third quarter. This, coupled with extreme weather delays created as the remnants of hurricane Alex moved through Texas and the Midwest, presented a challenging quarter. We are certainly not satisfied with the results of the third quarter and have taken additional strides to reduce our annualized operating costs. We expect to see results of these actions in the near future.”

Mit Stubbs said driver recruitment and quality service continue to be the company’s highest priorities as it prepares for the future. “The third quarter proved the economy has not totally rebounded, especially in the temperature-controlled trucking sector, but we believe we are making progress,” he said. “Although third-quarter financial improvements were inconsistent with the trends we experienced earlier in the year, we are encouraged by the improvements we’ve made in the last month of the quarter. By maintaining improved asset utilization and continued growth in our LTL services, we expect to be rewarded with improved operating results in the coming quarters.”