J.B. Hunt (120.77, +0.12) is little changed after reporting fourth quarter results.
The freight carrier reported fourth quarter earnings of $3.48 per share, which may not be comparable to market estimates. The company's revenue grew 15.6% year-over-year to $1.99 billion, which was ahead of expectations.
J.B. Hunt's results included pre-tax charges of $20.30 million related to a reserve on a cash advance for the purchase of new trailing equipment from a manufacturer that will not meet delivery. This charge was known ahead of time. The company also incurred an $18.60 million charge related to an increase in reserves for certain insurance and claims. Income taxes declined by $309.20 million due to expected future tax rates on deferred tax balances.
Operating revenue jumped 15.7% to $1.99 billion. The increase was achieved thanks to a 5.0% load growth and higher revenue per load in the Intermodal segment.
Intermodal revenue grew 10.0% to $1.10 billion. Total volumes grew 5.0% with Eastern network loads increasing 7.0% while transcontinental loads rose 4.0%. The revenue growth rate was fueled by a 5.0% increase in volume and a 5.0% increase in revenue per load. Segment operating income declined 25.0% to $93.30 million, as benefits from increased volume and revenue per load were offset by higher costs to attract and retain drivers.
Dedicated Contract Services revenue rose 20.0% to $477 million. Revenue per truck per week rose 4.0%. Excluding fuel surcharge revenue, revenue per truck per week increased 2.0%. Compared to last year, the company added 1,326 revenue producing trucks. Roughly 53.0% of that total is made up of private fleet conversions. Customer retention rate stayed above 98.0%. Segment operating income fell 39.0% to $34.90 million due to higher driver wages, higher driver recruiting costs, higher insurance and claims costs, and higher equipment ownership costs.
Integrated Capacity Solutions revenue jumped 40.0% to $323 million. Revenue per load jumped 19.0% while volume rose 17.0% due to higher spot market activity. Segment operating income jumped 86.0% to $11.30 million thanks to increased spot market activity.
Truck revenue rose 1.0% to $97 million while revenue per load rose 13.0% thanks to higher rates per loaded mile. The increase was partially offset by a 10.0% drop in load count. Segment operating income fell 5.0% to $6.40 million due to higher driver wages and independent contractor costs per mile.