Heartland Express earnings increase in quarter, year

Operating revenues increased 6.7 percent in 2013 to $582.3 million

George Ford
Published: February 5 2014 | 7:00 am - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 3:11 am in
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Higher earnings and revenues were reported for the final quarter and all of 2013 by Heartland Express Inc. of North Liberty.

The company said net income increased 10.8 percent to $15.8 million in the quarter that ended on Dec. 31, compared with $14.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2012. Earnings per share increased 5.9 percent to 18 cents from 17 cents in the fourth quarter of 2012 on a 1.7 percent increase in weighted average shares outstanding.

The change was mainly attributed to shares that were issued for the Nov. 11, 2013, purchase of Gordon Trucking Inc. of Pacific, Wash., for $300 million.

Operating revenues increased 34.6 percent to $183.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2013 from $136.2 million in the same quarter of 2012. Fuel surcharge revenues increased 30.3 percent to $36.5 million in the quarter that ended on Dec. 31 from $28 million in the fourth quarter of 2012.

For the year, Heartland Express posted net income of $70.6 million, up 14.7 percent from $61.5 million in 2012. Earnings per share increased 15.3 percent to 83 cents from 72 cents reported in 2012 on a 0.8 percent decrease in weighted average shares outstanding.

Operating revenues increased 6.7 percent in 2013 to $582.3 million from $545.7 million in 2012. Fuel surcharge revenues rose 5.4 percent to $118.4 million from $112.4 million in 2012.

Heartland Express said the fourth-quarter results included included the impact of various items related to the acquisition of Gordon Trucking, which reduced basic earnings per share by 2 cents.

Michael Gerdin, chairman, president and CEO of Heartland Express, said drivers of both companies have received the acquisition positively and there has not been any significant change to Gordon Trucking's legacy driver base.

"Going forward we will be updating GTI's trailer fleet and fully integrating the operations of both companies under a single platform," Gerdin said. "During the quarter we successfully integrated our Phoenix terminal operations, which was one of the few overlapping terminal facilities as a result of the acquisition.

"We remain focused on the cost synergies initially targeted and will continue to work towards this goal over the next three to four years."

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