Heartland Express says 2Q earnings up 35.3%

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Heartland Express Inc. on Tuesday, July 19, said operating revenues for the second quarter ended June 30 increased 7.7 percent to $137.2 million from $127.4 million in the second quarter of 2010. Net income was $22.5 million compared to $16.7 million, a 35.3 percent increase. The company posted an operating ratio – operating expenses as a percentage of operating revenues – of 76.2 percent and a 16.4 percent net margin, net income as a percentage of operating revenues.

Operating revenues for the six-month period increased 9.0 percent to $264.9 million from $243.0 million. Net income was $37.4 million compared to $28.5 million. The North Liberty, Iowa-based company posted an operating ratio of 79.4 percent and a 14.1 percent net margin.

Heartland said the demand for freight services improved due to capacity issues in the industry, but operating results were impacted negatively by a combination of tight driver availability and escalating fuel prices. The company also said it is challenged by the shrinking pool of qualified drivers.