Holding company Arkansas Best reported a $7.9 million fourth-quarter net loss, as rising costs overtook flat tonnage, revenue and pricing at ABF Freight System.
The holding company’s total revenue rose 15.9 percent year-over-year in the quarter to $537 million, driven by gains at non-asset Panther Expedited Services.
For the full year, the company slipped back into the red with a $7.7 million net loss, compared with a $6.2 million net profit in 2011, when it returned to profit.
However, Arkansas Best topped $2 billion in total revenue for the first time. Freight brokerage and vehicle maintenance helped boost revenue, the company said.
ABF Freight, the sixth-largest less-than-truckload carrier, reported an operating loss of $13.6 million for the last quarter. Revenue rose slightly to $442.8 million.
ABF’s revenue was flat for the full year, at $1.7 billion, the company said. The LTL carrier shifted from a $3.6 million profit in 2011 to a $19.4 million loss in 2012.
LTL tonnage per day dropped 4.6 percent in 2012 compared with 2011, though it rose 0.4 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter, the company said.
Revenue per hundredweight or yield — a measure of pricing, fuel surcharges and efficiency — rose 4.4 percent for 2012 year but was flat in the fourth quarter.
Non-asset Panther Expedited, acquired by Arkansas Best last year, reported record revenue, though the carrier said economic uncertainty hampered its business.
Panther had revenue of $61.1 million for the quarter and $132.3 million for 2012. Operating profit was $1.1 million for the quarter and $2.4 million for the year.