A 16 percent leap in intermodal loads helped push first quarter revenue up 17 percent to $1.17 billion at $4.5 billion carrier J.B. Hunt Transport Services.
The trucking company’s first quarter net profit rose 35 percent year-over-year to $67.7 million, while its operating revenue rose 29.8 percent to $116.6 million.
Business barely slowed from the fourth quarter, when J.B. Hunt’s revenue rose 17.6 percent to $1.2 billion, spurred by a 17 percent increase in intermodal loads.
All four of the Lowell, Ark.-based company’s divisions increased volume and sales year-over-year, with intermodal accounting for 60 percent of total revenue.
Intermodal revenue rose 20 percent to $694 million, dedicated revenue was up 7 percent to $256 million and truck revenue 8 percent to $128 million.
Hunt’s logistics division, Integrated Capacity Solutions, increased revenue 30 percent year-over-year to $97 million as load volume jumped 14 percent.
The truckload and intermodal hauler’s strong earnings surprised Wall Street, beating analysts’ consensus on J.B. Hunt’s earnings by 10 percent or more.
“Intermodal revenue and dedicated margins … were both more favorable than our assumptions,” said John Larkin, managing director at Stifel Nicolaus.
J.B. Hunt made strong year-over-year gains despite a soft economy and higher fuel costs, Peter Nesvold, an analyst with Jefferies, said in a note to investors.
“JBHT is continuing to take share from truck, and is benefiting from a tight truck capacity situation and increased wins at larger customers,” said Nesvold.