Trucker’s quarterly net loss is $931,000

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USA Truck Inc. on Monday reported a net loss of $931,000 during its second quarter, its fourth consecutive quarterly loss.

The transportation industry at large has dealt with weekly and even daily swings in freight and pricing because of the covid-19 pandemic, creating a volatile environment for Van Buren-based USA Truck and others.

“[It] was unlike any quarter we have seen in transportation,” USA Truck’s President and Chief Executive Officer James Reed said in the report.

Revenue was $123.7 million in the three months that ended June 30, down 7% compared with $133.6 million in the same quarter last year. Excluding fuel surcharges, revenue was $113.2 million.

USA Truck’s loss came to 11 cents per share for the quarter, higher than the estimated loss of 9 cents per share predicted by analysts. Revenue beat an estimate of $117.4 million, according to a Zacks Consensus Estimate.

Despite these challenges, Reed said the company saw improvements in certain areas, including a higher operating ratio in the trucking segment and a higher load count in the logistics segment, compared with last year.

Trucking operating income was $1.2 million, up 41% from $837,000 a year ago. Segment revenue fell 8% to $88.6 million. Base revenue per available tractor per week was $3,003, compared with $3,350 a year ago.

Reed said USA Truck’s customers kept the company consistently trucking through the quarter, however about 20% have yet to recover. To compensate, USA Truck relied on lower priced spot freight, which reduced its revenue.

On the logistics side, the company reported an operating loss of $176,000, down from a profit of $1.15 million a year ago. Revenue from the truckload and dedicated freight service side of the company fell 2% to $38.7 million. Load count increased to 33,400, from 28,800 a year ago.

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USA Truck showed a loss of $2.55 million in the first quarter, $4.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2019 and $1.37 million in third quarter of 2019. The company posted a profit of $1,000 in the second quarter of 2019.

The company reported total debt and lease liabilities of $189.5 million and had about $38 million available to borrow under its credit facility as of June 30. It is expecting to open a new terminal in Dallas by the end of the third quarter and has entered into an agreement to buy an additional 189 tractors by the end of 2020.

“We believe we are well positioned as market capacity is tightening,” Reed said. “We continue to focus on providing great service to our customers.”

USA Truck said it will hold a conference call to discuss the quarter’s results today at 8 a.m. The call can be accessed online or by dialing (844) 824-3828.

Company shares fell 6 cents, or less than 1%, to close Monday at $8.74. Share prices in the past year have ranged as high as $9.82 and as low as $2.36.

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