Pacer Narrows 1Q Loss

Pacer Narrows 1Q Loss

Pacer International nearly wiped out its net loss in the first quarter as it reshapes its business plan. The intermodal intermediary reported a $500,000 loss in the quarter, a dramatic improvement over the $177.4 million loss a year earlier that included a large goodwill impairment charge.

Excluding special charges against earnings in both the 2010 and 2009 charges, the company said it had adjusted income of $400,000 in the latest period compared with a $12.5 million adjusted loss last year.

Overall revenue rose 1.4 percent in the 2010 quarter to $363.7 million, led by a 13.9 percent gain in logistics sales to $99.8 million while the main intermodal business took in 2.6 percent less at $264.2 million.

Chairman and CEO Daniel W. Avramovich touted the company’s 11.2 percent growth in retail intermodal volume, in line with its shift in business strategy to what it calls an “end-customer integrated service model” that focuses on retail buyers of intermodal consolidation and logistics services.

Last fall, Pacer renegotiated a longstanding train-space contract with Union Pacific Railroad under which it had sold space wholesale to other intermodal marketers. Under the contract changes, UP is taking control in phases of domestic wholesale traffic Pacer used to handle, though the intermodal marketer retains for now its earlier terms on international box traffic.

Contact John D. Boyd at jboyd@joc.com.