Panther Expedited Services, the second largest expedited transportation company in the U.S. by revenue, plans an initial public offering worth up to $100 million.
The $158 million non-asset-based transporter lost $43.3 million in 2009, according to documents filed with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission Aug. 6.
But Panther Expedited cut its net losses 87 percent to $4.9 million in the first six months of 2010, as its sales increased 43.1 percent to $95 million.
The company's daily shipment count jumped 22.8 percent in the first half compared with the year-ago period, while revenue per shipment rose 15.3 percent.
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Panther attributed the higher volume and revenue to an increase in the size and expertise of its sales force and to a focused effort to improve pricing.
The Panther IPO is the second transportation industry stock offering in the past month, following truckload giant Swift Transportation's $700 million IPO.
Seville, Ohio-based Panther planned an IPO in 2006, but withdrew its original SEC registration statement Aug. 3 as it prepared for its new filing. It didn't set a schedule for the IPO, or say what the number of shares or price per share would be.
The public offering will let Panther expand its owner-operator fleet, hire freight forwarding sales personnel and pursue acquisitions, the company said in its filing.
Panther has exclusive contracts with more than 1,000 owner-operators and uses about 1,600 third-party ground carriers and 500 air and ocean cargo carriers.
Since 2006, Panther has expanded its services, diversifying from its core expedited trucking offering into international air and ocean freight forwarding.
Air and ocean freight now represent 14 percent of its business, the company said in its SEC filing, while North American ground expedited accounts for 66 percent.
"In the first six months of 2010, nine of our top ten customers utilized our air and ocean freight forwarding offerings, which we introduced in 2007," Panther said.
The company was founded in 1992 to provide expedited trucking service to automakers. The automotive industry now accounts for 26 percent of its business.
-- Contact William B. Cassidy at email@example.com.