FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

VAN BUREN, ARKANSAS January 29, 2009

USA Truck, Inc. (NASDAQ: USAK) today announced base revenue of $92.9 million for the three months ended December 31, 2008, a decrease of 2.9% from $95.7 million for the same quarter of 2007. Net income increased to $0.6 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2008, from a net loss of $1.6 million for the same quarter of 2007. Diluted earnings per share increased to $0.06, which includes an adjustment of $0.03 per share for an operating asset impairment charge, for the quarter ended December 31, 2008, from a net loss of $0.15 for the same quarter of 2007.

Base revenue increased 1.6% to $397.6 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2008, from $391.2 million for the same period of 2007. Net income increased to $3.1 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2008, from $0.1 million for the same period of 2007. Diluted earnings per share increased to $0.31, which includes adjustments of $0.05 per share for asset impairment charges, for the twelve months ended December 31, 2008, from $0.01 for the same period of 2007.

In comparing the financial results of the quarter ended December 31, 2008 to the comparable period of 2007, Clifton R. Beckham, President and CEO of the Company, made the following statement:

“While we are not satisfied with our results, we are proud of our year-over-year improvements in the face of unprecedented economic conditions. We believe that these results reflect tangible progress as we continue to implement our long-term strategic plan.

“Freight conditions during the fourth quarter were quite possibly the most challenging that we have ever experienced and that opinion is supported by several truckload industry indices and an avalanche of macroeconomic indicators.

“Although diesel fuel prices declined during the quarter, the decline was not sufficient to offset deteriorating freight demand throughout the quarter. We believe lower diesel prices provided a working capital boost to marginal carriers during the quarter, thus allowing them to continue their operations thereby exacerbating the imbalance between industry truck supply and freight demand.

“While we are pleased with our progress toward achieving our long-term strategic objectives, the deterioration in the freight environment took its toll on our performance this quarter. The most significant impact of the deterioration was a reduction in Trucking base revenue, which resulted in a 3.4% decline in our tractor utilization. Operating margin was squeezed as Trucking base revenue declined at a faster rate than fixed costs could be removed from our system. The reduced utilization muted the effects of the falling fuel prices (since those lower prices are only relevant if we are running miles).

“We made progress on the various initiatives we have underway to help us achieve our strategic goals of better return on capital and more consistent earnings. Some of that progress came in the form of tactical countermeasures to help offset the current economic challenges while others remain long-term focused:

 

We reduced our Company-owned fleet size by approximately 250 tractors, or 10.3%, during the quarter. We are committed to maintaining the proper fleet size necessary to protect our pricing yield and equipment utilization.

 

The reduction in our Company-owned fleet targeted those tractors with the highest miles and resulted in an impairment charge of approximately $0.03 per share during the quarter as their book value had to be adjusted down to their market value. We plan to dispose of roughly half of those high-mileage tractors during the first quarter of 2009.

 

During the fourth quarter of 2008, we increased our owner-operator fleet from 94 to 151, which partially offset the reduction in Company-owned tractors. The higher proportion of owner operators in the fleet (6.3% at December 31, 2008 as compared to 2.3% at December 31, 2007) is an example of our increased focus on capital management. That focus has yielded meaningful year-over-year improvements relative to the incremental increase in capital deployed on our balance sheet.

 

We endeavored over the past year to improve the productivity of our non-driver personnel by using a combination of performance-driven management and a more focused, process-driven approach to managing our business. In that regard, we experienced an 18.7% reduction in our non-driver head count during 2008. We remain committed to challenging and empowering our employees while holding them accountable for

 


The following information was filed by Usa Truck Inc (USAK) on Friday, January 30, 2009 as an 8K 2.02 statement, which is an earnings press release pertaining to results of operations and financial condition. It may be helpful to assess the quality of management by comparing the information in the press release to the information in the accompanying 10-K Annual Report statement of earnings and operation as management may choose to highlight particular information in the press release.

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