Earnings slide at Swift Transportation

Earnings slide at Swift Transportation

Swift Transportation Co. Inc. posted increased revenue for the first quarter of 2004 compared to a year earlier, but net income declined, at the Phoenix-based truckload carrier and intermodal services firm.

For the three months ended March 31, revenue increased nearly 13 percent to $622.4 million, with about 7 percent of that coming from the acquisition of Merit Distribution Services Inc. A year earlier the revenue figure was $551.3 million.

The first quarter of 2004 included $26 million of fuel surcharge revenue versus $23.1 million in 2003. Net earnings were $6.4 million compared with $8.9 million for the first quarter of 2003.

The 2004 first-quarter results include a $1.1 million non-cash pre-tax expense for the increase in market value of interest rate derivative agreements of M.S. Carriers, while the results for the first quarter of 2003 include a $100,000 pre-tax benefit for the reduction in market value of those agreements.

The 2004 results also included a $3.9 million expense for the cost of the voluntary early retirement program offset by a $2.4 million gain from the sale of property.

The company purchased 3,984,753 shares of its common stock for a total cost of $74 million during the first quarter of 2004.