Higher rates and volumes boosted fourth-quarter net profit 25.4 percent to $72.6 million at J.B. Hunt Transport Services, the nation’s largest intermodal trucker.
Revenue rose 17.6 percent to $1.2 billion, spurred by a 17 percent increase in intermodal load volume, new dedicated carriage contracts and higher truck rates. The company didn’t slow down in the fourth quarter, increasing revenue and net profit from $68.7 million and $1.17 billion, respectively, in the third quarter
For the full year, J.B. Hunt Transport’s total revenue rose 19.3 percent to $4.5 billion. The Lowell, Ark.-based company’s net profit jumped 28.7 percent to $257 million.
Higher pricing helped the transport operator profit on and off the road. Intermodal rates rose 4.6 percent from the prior year in the fourth quarter, while truckload rates climbed 4.1 percent, excluding fuel surcharges, the company said.
At $728.8 million in revenue, intermodal traffic accounted for 60 percent of the carrier’s business in the fourth quarter, followed by dedicated at 22 percent.
Intermodal revenue per load grew 6.3 percent from the prior year to $2,189 in the quarter. For the full year, J.B. Hunt’s intermodal loadings were up 16.1 percent.
The intermodal division’s operating profit rose 20 percent in the quarter to $83.9 million, giving J.B. Hunt Intermodal an 88.5 percent operating ratio. Dedicated revenue increased 9 percent in the quarter to $260 million, while the division’s operating profit jumped 40 percent to $27.4 million.
J.B. Hunt’s truckload business grew 8.4 percent to $127.9 million in the fourth quarter, and 5.1 percent year-over-year to $504.1 million for 2011.