USA Truck Announces Fourth Quarter Results
VAN BUREN, ARKANSAS January 31, 2013
USA Truck, Inc. (NASDAQ: USAK) today announced base revenue of $107.1 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2012, an increase of 6.8% from $100.3 million for the same quarter of 2011. We incurred a net loss of $3.1 million, $0.30 per share, for the quarter ended December 31, 2012, compared to a net loss of $4.4 million, $0.42 per share, for the same quarter of 2011.
Base revenue decreased 0.6% to $408.7 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2012, from $411.0 million for the same period of 2011. We incurred a net loss of $17.5 million, $1.70 per share, for the twelve months ended December 31, 2012, compared to a net loss of $10.8 million, $1.05 per share, for the same period of 2011.
Asset-Based Trucking Operations
Cliff Beckham, President and CEO, offered the following comments: “The improved operating fundamentals we experienced toward the end of the third quarter continued into the fourth quarter, and the improvement is reflected in our financial results as we narrowed our loss per share by 28.6% to $0.30, compared to a $0.42 loss a year ago. Sequentially, we nearly cut in half the third quarter's $0.59 loss in a historically seasonally weaker quarter for us.
“Improvement was most evident in our Trucking segment, where we produced year-over-year revenue growth for the first time since the second quarter of 2011. Base Trucking revenue grew 3.4% despite a 3.1% reduction in the average fleet size. Base revenue per tractor per week improved 6.7% to $2,720 on an improved freight mix and a substantially larger manned tractor count.
“Our yield management activities during the third quarter, which adversely impacted volumes during that quarter as we re-priced underperforming freight, began to produce results during the fourth quarter. We replaced volumes lost during the third quarter with better-performing freight, as evidenced by the combination of a 2.2% improvement in rate per loaded mile and a 6.7% increase in loaded length-of-haul. Pricing typically falls at longer lengths-of-haul, so the fact that we grew both simultaneously indicates improving lane flow (directionality, density, and market selection). We upgraded our customer base during the fourth quarter, including the replacement of four of our top 25 Trucking shippers, while reducing concentration with our largest shippers. We expect some of our new customers to grow into our top 25 customer list in the first half of 2013.
“The improved freight mix and the better operational execution helped us to increase miles per manned tractor per week by 1.3% to 1,931 miles. The heightened empty mile factor (up 92 basis points to 12.0%) suggests that we still need additional freight volume to better utilize our equipment. We are executing a detailed strategy that we believe will grow volumes in specific markets and lanes during this winter's freight bidding season.
“Perhaps our largest accomplishment during the quarter involved cutting our unmanned tractor count by more than 50%, to 92 from 213 sequentially versus the third quarter of 2012. The manned tractor count growth was made possible primarily by lower driver turnover, which improved throughout the quarter to an annualized rate of 83% in December 2012, compared to 107% in December 2011. We attribute the improvement to enhanced Company-wide focus on driver retention, better freight, and more consistent miles. The combination of our manned tractor count and greater miles per manned tractor led to a 5.5% improvement in overall tractor utilization to 1,850 miles per in-service tractor per week.”
The key operating metric charts below (Miles per Manned Tractor per Week, Loaded Revenue per Mile, Unmanned Tractors, and Base Revenue per Tractor per Week) reflect the results we have experienced for the periods indicated.
Non-Asset Based Operations
“Our SCS segment delivered strong performance again, growing base revenue by 17.6% and operating income by 13.4%. Gross margin expanded by 30 basis points on slightly improved market conditions during the quarter. SCS represented 21.2% of our total base revenue during the quarter, and continues to deliver profitable results with minimal capital investment. Intermodal operations experienced better gross margins on less revenue and were immaterial to our financial results.”
Balance Sheet and Liquidity
Mr. Beckham also addressed the Company’s capitalization: “We believe our balance sheet and sources of liquidity are adequate to support our operating needs for the foreseeable future. At December 31, 2012, our outstanding debt, less cash, represented 55.1% of our balance sheet capitalization, compared to 47.4% at December 31, 2011. At December 31, 2012, we were in compliance with our new, five-year $125.0 million revolving credit facility and had approximately $19.9 million of available borrowing capacity (net of the minimum availability we are required to maintain of approximately $18.8 million). For the twelve months ended December 31, 2012, we incurred net capital expenditures of approximately $32.2 million. Our 2013 operating plan anticipates capital expenditures, net of proceeds on sale of assets, of $47.3 million.”
The following information was filed by Usa Truck Inc (USAK) on Friday, February 1, 2013 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.