Marten Transport tallies 1Q 2010 results

Marten Transport Ltd reported net income of $3.9 million, or 18 cents per diluted share, for the first quarter ended March 31, 2010, compared with $4.1 million, or 18 cents per diluted share, for the same quarter of 2009.

Operating revenue, consisting of revenue from truckload and logistics operations, increased 3.2% to $125.8 million in the first quarter of 2010 from $122.0 million in the 2009 quarter primarily due to increased fuel surcharge revenue, which reflects higher fuel prices in the 2010 quarter, and increases in logistics revenue. Operating revenue, net of fuel surcharges, decreased 2.4% to $108.5 million in the 2010 quarter from $111.2 million in the 2009 quarter. Operating revenue included fuel surcharges of $17.3 million for the first quarter of 2010, versus $10.8 million in the 2009 quarter.

Operating expenses rose 3.6% to $118.8 million in the first quarter of 2010 from $114.7 million in the 2009 quarter. The operating expense increase was primarily due to increases in fuel and fuel taxes and purchased transportation. Fuel and fuel taxes increased 26.2% to $27.6 million in the first quarter of 2010 from $21.9 million in the 2009 quarter. This increase was mainly attributable to higher fuel prices in the 2010 quarter.

The operating ratio (operating expenses as a percentage of operating revenue) climbed to 94.4% for the first quarter of 2010 from 94.1% for the first quarter of 2009.

Randolph L Marten, chairman and chief executive officer, said, “Despite turmoil in the economy and the exceptionally difficult freight environment, particularly beginning with the second half of last year, we were able to continue our profitable results through disciplined execution of our transformational business strategy. As the trucking industry begins to experience some slight volume improvements, we believe that we are well-positioned with our ongoing transformation into a multi-faceted business model focused on growth in our regional, intermodal, and brokerage business services.

“As evidence of the success of our multi-faceted business model, our logistics revenue, net of intermodal fuel surcharges, grew to $27.6 million in the first quarter of 2010, an increase of 21.7% from $22.7 million for the 2009 quarter,” he said. “Logistics revenue consists of revenue from our internal brokerage and intermodal operations and revenue associated with our 45% interest in MW Logistics LLC, a third-party provider of logistics services.”

Marten Transport, with headquarters in Mondovi WI, specializes in transporting and distributing food and other consumer packaged goods that require a temperature-controlled or insulated environment. It offers service in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

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