Knight reports higher 1Q net income

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Knight Transportation

Knight Transportation on Wednesday, April 25, reported total revenue for the first quarter ended March 31 increased 17.7 percent to $219.5 million from $186.5 million in the first quarter in 2011. Revenue before fuel surcharge increased 16.7 percent to $175.6 million from $150.5 million. Net income increased to $10.5 million from $9.9 million; excluding a noncash charge, net income would have been $14.4 million.

“In the first quarter of 2012, we experienced a more favorable freight environment when compared to the same period in 2011,” said Kevin Knight, chairman and chief executive officer of the Phoenix-based company. “We continued to grow each of our businesses and gain additional market share.”

Knight said the core operating fundamentals of the company’s asset-based businesses demonstrated continued improvement compared with the first quarter of 2011. “Improved asset productivity contributed to meaningful margin improvement in our dry van and refrigerated businesses,” he said. “Driver availability remains one of our major concerns this year, as we experienced a tightening driver market in the latter part of first quarter 2012.”

Knight said successfully sourcing and retaining drivers will be critical in the company’s ability to continue to grow its asset-based businesses. “Given these concerns, we feel well positioned that our driver development and training programs will enable us to source driving associates and develop them into Knight company drivers,” he said. “We also feel our decentralized service center network, regional freight lanes, late-model tractor fleet, financial strength and overall culture offer competitive advantages in recruiting and retaining qualified driving associates.”