Marten Transport logs Q4 2010 results

Mondovi WI-based refrigerated carrier Marten Transport Ltd (Nasdaq/GS:MRTN) has reported a 22.2% increase in net income to $5.2 million for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2010, from $4.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2009. For 2010, net income rose 21.4% to $19.7 million from $16.3 million for 2009.

Operating revenue, consisting of revenue from truckload and logistics operations, climbed to $136.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2010 from $128.7 million in the 2009 quarter. In 2010, operating revenue increased to $516.9 million from $505.9 million in 2009.

Operating expenses as a percentage of operating revenue improved to 92.2% for the fourth quarter of 2010 from 92.8% for the fourth quarter of 2009, and improved to 92.0% for 2010 from 93.5% for 2009. The ratio for 2010 was the firm’s best since 2006.

Randolph L Marten, chairman and chief executive officer, said, “We are pleased to report increased profitability in spite of rising fuel prices. Our ongoing transformation into a multi-faceted business model continues to produce positive results through its focus on growth in our intermodal, brokerage, regional, and international operations.

“Both the brokerage and intermodal components of our logistics segment contributed to improved revenue. Logistics revenue, net of intermodal fuel surcharges, grew by $4.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2010 over the 2009 quarter, and by $12.1 million in 2010 over 2009. The increase in logistics revenue in the fourth quarter of 2010 was driven by a 15.9% increase in our intermodal revenue, a 26.5% increase in our brokerage services, and a 12.8% increase in the revenue associated with our 45% interest in MW Logistics LLC, a third-party provider of logistics services.

“Our expanding regional operations contributed to a 5.9% fourth-quarter increase in our average truckload revenue, net of fuel surcharges, per tractor per week over last year’s fourth quarter, and a 5.2% increase in 2010 over 2009. We have increased our regional operations to 51.8% of our truckload fleet as of December 31, 2010, from 25.9% as of a year earlier.”

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