Knight Transportation tallies third quarter 2009 results

Knight Transportation has reported revenue and earnings for the third quarter ended September 30, 2009.

For the quarter, revenue before fuel surcharge decreased 3.6% to $150.2 million from $155.9 million in the third quarter of 2008. Primarily due to lower fuel surcharge revenue, total revenue fell 17.4% to $173.1 million from $209.7 million for the same quarter of 2008.

Operating income of $20.7 million in the quarter represented a 21.0% decline from the $26.2 million reported in third quarter 2008. Net income dropped 18.1% to $13.1 million from $16.0 million for the same period of 2008.

Year-to-date, revenue before fuel surcharge receded 5.4% to $427.6 million from $452.0 million for the same period of 2008. Operating income was down 7.2% to $61.0 million from $65.7 for the same period of 2008. Net income fell 6.7% to $37.4 million from $40.1 million in the same period of 2008.

Kevin P Knight, chairman and chief executive officer, said, “Despite the continued challenging truckload freight environment, we grew our total loads hauled in the quarter by 10.2% when compared to the same period last year. We have experienced a steady—albeit modest—sequential increase in load volumes as the year has progressed.

“On a consolidated basis, Knight Transportation produced an operating ratio (operating expenses, net of fuel surcharge, as a percentage of revenue before fuel surcharge) of 86.2% in the third quarter of this year compared to 83.2% in the same period last year. Knight Dry Van generated an operating ratio of 85.6%. Knight Refrigerated generated an operating ratio of 86.7%. Knight Brokerage generated an operating ratio of 93.3%. We have made the decision to maintain our fleet size for longer-term strategy rather than short-term benefit that would have likely improved our near-term operating ratio.”

Knight Transportation is a truckload carrier offering refrigerated, dry van, intermodal, and brokerage services through a network of service centers and branches throughout the United States serving North America.

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