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Marten Transport’s income accelerates in third quarter

Marten Transport Ltd, the Mondovi WI-based refrigerated carrier, has reported a 57.9% increase in net income to $5.5 million, or 25 cents per diluted share, for the third quarter ended September 30, 2010. This compares with $3.5 million, or 16 cents per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2009.

Third-quarter earnings also improved sequentially from 2010 second-quarter net income of $5.2 million, or 23 cents per diluted share. For the nine-month period of 2010, net income rose to $14.5 million, or 66 cents per diluted share, versus $12.0 million, or 55 cents per diluted share, for the same nine-month period of 2009.

Operating revenue, consisting of revenue from truckload and logistics operations, was $128.7 million in the third quarter of 2010 compared with $129.4 million in the 2009 quarter. Operating revenue climbed to $380.3 million in the nine-month period of 2010 from $377.2 million in the first nine months of 2009.

Operating expenses as a percentage of operating revenue, with both amounts net of fuel surcharge revenue, improved to 90.9% for the third quarter of 2010 from 94.3% for the third quarter of 2009. It improved to 91.9% for the 2010 nine-month period from 93.7% for the 2009 nine-month period.

Randolph L Marten, chairman and chief executive officer, said, “We continue to be encouraged by our increased profitability. Our transformation into a multi-faceted business model—the growth of our logistics business and focus on expansion of our regional operations throughout the country—continues to drive positive results.

“Our logistics revenue continues to expand as a percentage of our revenue. In the third quarter of 2010, our logistics revenue, net of intermodal fuel surcharges, grew $1.1 million over the 2009 quarter, and, for the 2010 nine-month period, grew $7.1 million over the 2009 nine-month period. Our regional operations continue to thrive, contributing to a 13.2% increase in our average truckload revenue, net of fuel surcharges, per tractor per week, in this year’s third quarter over last year’s third quarter, and a 3.8% increase over this year’s second quarter. We have increased our regional operations to 48.2% of our truckload fleet as of Sept 30, 2010 from 21.7% as of a year earlier.

“As evidence of our confidence that we can deliver long-term, sustainable growth, we paid our first quarterly cash dividend to stockholders in the third quarter of 2010.”

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