Heartland posts lower 3Q net income

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Heartland Express

Heartland Express Inc. on Thursday, Oct. 11, announced operating revenues for the 2012 third quarter ended Sept. 30 increased 1.9 percent to $135.0 million from $132.5 million in the third quarter of 2011. Operating revenues for the nine month period increased 3.1 percent to $409.6 million from $397.4 million in the 2011 period.

The North Liberty, Iowa-based company said operating income for the three and nine month periods of 2012 were impacted negatively by a $5.1 million and $12.9 million decrease in gains on disposal of property and equipment, respectively.

Net income was $12.4 million in the 2012 quarter period compared to $15.4 million in the 2011 quarter period, a 19.3 percent decrease. Net income was $47.2 million in the nine-month period compared to $52.8 million in the 2011 nine-month period, a 10.5 percent decrease.

For the quarter, Heartland posted an operating ratio – operating expenses as a percentage of operating revenues – of 85.4 percent and a 9.2 percent net margin, or net income as a percentage of operating revenues. For the nine-month period, the company posted an operating ratio of 82.9 percent and an 11.5 percent net margin.

“The industry continues to be challenged by the shortage of qualified drivers and erratic fuel prices,” the company said. “We achieved minimal fleet growth in the third quarter of 2012 compared to the third quarter of 2011. We continue to aggressively manage our fuel cost through newer model revenue equipment and strategic fuel purchasing decisions.”