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Marten Transport Announces First Quarter Results

Net income improves 31.1% in first quarter of 2019

MONDOVI, Wis., April 16, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Marten Transport, Ltd. (Nasdaq/GS:MRTN) today reported a 31.1% improvement in net income to $13.5 million, or 25 cents per diluted share, for the first quarter ended March 31, 2019, from $10.3 million, or 19 cents per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2018.

Operating revenue improved 6.5% to $199.0 million for the first quarter of 2019 from $187.0 million for the first quarter of 2018, and improved 12.3% to $799.7 million for the trailing twelve months ended March 31, 2019 from $711.9 million for the similar period ended March 31, 2018. Excluding fuel surcharges, operating revenue improved 7.1% to $175.5 million for the 2019 quarter from $163.8 million for the 2018 quarter. Fuel surcharge revenue increased slightly to $23.6 million from $23.1 million over the same periods.

Operating income improved 30.4% to $17.7 million for the first quarter of 2019 from $13.6 million for the first quarter of 2018, and improved 31.8% to $74.5 million for the trailing twelve months ended March 31, 2019 from $56.5 million for the similar period ended March 31, 2018. 

Operating expenses as a percentage of operating revenue improved to 91.1% for the first quarter of 2019 from 92.7% for the first quarter of 2018. Operating expenses as a percentage of operating revenue, with both amounts net of fuel surcharges, improved to 89.9% from 91.7% over the same periods.

Operating expenses as a percentage of operating revenue improved to 90.7% for the trailing twelve months ended March 31, 2019 from 92.1% for the similar period ended March 31, 2018. Operating expenses as a percentage of operating revenue, with both amounts net of fuel surcharges, improved to 89.3% from 91.1% over the same periods.

       
  Operating Results Comparison    
       
  Net income and diluted earnings per common share presented below for the TTM ended Mar. 31, 2018 exclude a $56.5 million deferred income tax benefit in the fourth quarter of 2017. Net income including the benefit for the TTM ended Mar. 31, 2018 was $92.4 million, or $1.68 per diluted share.      
       
      Percentage     Percentage  
      Change     Change  
      Three Months   Trailing Trailing Twelve  
    Three Months Ended   Twelve Months Months Ended  
    Ended Mar. 31, Mar. 31,   Ended Mar. 31, Mar. 31,  
  (Dollars in thousands, except share information) 2019 2018 2019 vs. 2018   2019 2018 2019 vs. 2018  
                                 
  Operating revenue  $ 199,023 $ 186,960   6.5    $ 799,657 $ 711,921    12.3 %  
                                   
  Operating income  $ 17,733 $ 13,594     30.4 %    $ 74,487 $ 56,518   31.8 %  
                                   
  Net income $ 13,546 $ 10,331   31.1 %   $ 58,242 $ 35,936   62.1 %  
                                   
  Diluted earnings per common share $ 0.25 $ 0.19   31.2 %   $ 1.06 $ 0.65   61.6 %  
                                 
  Operating ratio, excluding fuel surcharges   89.9 % 91.7 %         89.3 % 91.1 %      
       

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Randolph L. Marten said, “We are pleased to report our continued strong top- and bottom-line results for this quarter, which produced our best-ever first-quarter operating revenue, operating income and net income. Our 30.4% year-over-year improvement in operating income for the first quarter consistently furthers our 31.8% operating income increase in the last twelve months. We expect to see strong demand throughout 2019 for our premium services with our diversified base of over 650 customers. We added 65 Truckload and 51 Dedicated tractors during the first quarter, and we expect to build on this success in recruiting and retaining the industry’s top, experienced drivers to increase our capacity to service our existing and new customers. In addition, we enhanced our balance sheet position with $85.5 million in cash at March 31, 2019, up from $56.8 million at the beginning of the year.”

“A number of our customer agreements included a shift beginning mid-first quarter last year from line haul to fuel surcharge revenue, which reduced our Dedicated and Truckload revenue excluding fuel surcharges by $2.9 million and $782,000, respectively, for this year’s first quarter, and by $1.4 million and $282,000, respectively, for the first quarter of 2018. Our fuel surcharge revenue increased in both periods by the same amounts.”

Marten Transport, with headquarters in Mondovi, Wis., is a multifaceted business offering a network of truck-based transportation capabilities across the Company’s five distinct business platforms - Truckload, Dedicated, Intermodal, Brokerage and MRTN de Mexico. Marten is one of the leading temperature-sensitive truckload carriers in the United States, specializing in transporting and distributing food and other consumer packaged goods that require a temperature-controlled or insulated environment. Marten’s dry freight services are expanding, with 1,596 dry vans operating as of March 31, 2019. The Company offers service in the United States, Canada and Mexico, concentrating on expedited movements for high-volume customers. Marten’s common stock is traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol MRTN.

This press release contains certain statements that may be considered forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These statements include a discussion of the Company’s prospects for future growth and by their nature involve substantial risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially from those expressed in such forward-looking statements. Important factors known to the Company that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements are discussed in Item 1A of the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018. The Company undertakes no obligation to correct or update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

CONTACTS: Tim Kohl, President, and Jim Hinnendael, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, of Marten Transport, Ltd., 715-926-4216.

                                                                                

MARTEN TRANSPORT, LTD.
CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED BALANCE SHEETS

    March 31,     December 31,  
(In thousands, except share information)   2019     2018  
      (Unaudited)          
ASSETS                
Current assets:                
Cash and cash equivalents   $ 85,526     $ 56,763  
Receivables:                
      Trade, net     84,443       83,033  
     Other     5,273       3,808  
Prepaid expenses and other     18,025       19,924  
         Total current assets     193,267       163,528  
                 
Property and equipment:                
Revenue equipment, buildings and land, office equipment and other     819,809       816,430  
Accumulated depreciation     (241,658 )     (228,200 )
         Net property and equipment     578,151       588,230  
Other noncurrent assets     3,109       2,146  
             Total assets   $ 774,527     $ 753,904  
                 
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY                
Current liabilities:                
Accounts payable   $ 18,512     $ 15,704  
Insurance and claims accruals     29,381       28,103  
Accrued and other current liabilities     31,649       28,166  
         Total current liabilities     79,542       71,973  
Deferred income taxes     106,796       105,977  
Noncurrent operating lease liabilities     452       -  
         Total liabilities     186,790       177,950  
                 
Stockholders’ equity:                
Preferred stock, $.01 par value per share; 2,000,000 shares authorized;
  no shares issued and outstanding
    -       -  
Common stock, $.01 par value per share; 192,000,000 shares
  authorized; 54,572,289 shares at March 31, 2019, and 54,466,691
  shares at December 31, 2018, issued and outstanding
    546       545  
Additional paid-in capital     76,687       76,814  
Retained earnings     510,504       498,595  
         Total stockholders’ equity     587,737       575,954  
             Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity   $ 774,527     $ 753,904  
                 


MARTEN TRANSPORT, LTD.
CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
(Unaudited)

    Three Months  
    Ended March 31,  
(In thousands, except per share information)     2019       2018  
                 
Operating revenue   $ 199,023     $ 186,960  
                 
Operating expenses (income):                
Salaries, wages and benefits     63,524       58,822  
Purchased transportation     38,249       35,026  
Fuel and fuel taxes     27,677       29,044  
Supplies and maintenance     11,121       10,436  
Depreciation     22,543       21,815  
Operating taxes and licenses     2,333       2,287  
Insurance and claims     9,875       10,290  
Communications and utilities     1,950       1,683  
Gain on disposition of revenue equipment     (1,548 )     (1,211 )
Other     5,566       5,174  
                 
                  Total operating expenses     181,290       173,366  
                 
Operating income     17,733       13,594  
                 
Other     (278 )     (189 )
                 
Income before income taxes     18,011       13,783  
                 
Income taxes expense     4,465       3,452  
                 
Net income   $ 13,546     $ 10,331  
                 
Basic earnings per common share   $ 0.25     $ 0.19  
                 
Diluted earnings per common share   $ 0.25     $ 0.19  
                 
Dividends declared per common share   $ 0.03     $ 0.025  
                 

                                                                                      

MARTEN TRANSPORT, LTD.
SEGMENT INFORMATION
(Unaudited)   

                    Dollar     Percentage  
                    Change     Change  
    Three Months     Three Months     Three Months  
    Ended     Ended     Ended  
    March 31,     March 31,     March 31,  
(Dollars in thousands)   2019     2018     2019 vs. 2018     2019 vs. 2018  
Operating revenue:                                
Truckload revenue, net of fuel surcharge revenue   $ 80,167     $ 80,216     $ (49 )     (0.1 )%
Truckload fuel surcharge revenue     11,555       12,801       (1,246 )     (9.7 )
Total Truckload revenue     91,722       93,017       (1,295 )     (1.4 )
                                 
Dedicated revenue, net of fuel surcharge revenue     48,924       42,364       6,560       15.5  
Dedicated fuel surcharge revenue     8,801       6,469       2,332       36.0  
Total Dedicated revenue     57,725       48,833       8,892       18.2  
                                 
Intermodal revenue, net of fuel surcharge revenue     19,755       20,808       (1,053 )     (5.1 )
Intermodal fuel surcharge revenue     3,216       3,844       (628 )     (16.3 )
Total Intermodal revenue     22,971       24,652       (1,681 )     (6.8 )
                                 
Brokerage revenue     26,605       20,458       6,147       30.0  
                                 
   Total operating revenue   $ 199,023     $ 186,960     $ 12,063       6.5 %
                                 
Operating income:                                
Truckload   $ 7,555     $ 6,815     $ 740       10.9 %
Dedicated     5,515       2,488       3,027       121.7  
Intermodal     2,394       2,978       (584 )     (19.6 )
Brokerage     2,269       1,313       956       72.8  
   Total operating income   $ 17,733     $ 13,594     $ 4,139       30.4 %
                                 
Operating ratio:                                
Truckload     91.8 %     92.7 %                
Dedicated     90.4       94.9                  
Intermodal     89.6       87.9                  
Brokerage     91.5       93.6                  
   Consolidated operating ratio     91.1 %     92.7 %                
                                 

                                                                                                                                           

MARTEN TRANSPORT, LTD.
OPERATING STATISTICS
(Unaudited)

    Three Months  
    Ended March 31,  
    2019     2018  
Truckload Segment:                
Revenue (in thousands)   $ 91,722     $ 93,017  
Average revenue, net of fuel surcharges, per tractor per week(1)   $ 3,859     $ 3,679  
Average tractors(1)     1,616       1,696  
Average miles per trip     562       603  
Non-revenue miles percentage(2)     11.3 %     6.8 %
Total miles (in thousands)     37,236       40,582  
                 
Dedicated Segment:                
Revenue (in thousands)   $ 57,725     $ 48,833  
Average revenue, net of fuel surcharges, per tractor per week(1)   $ 3,382     $ 3,267  
Average tractors(1)     1,125       1,009  
Average miles per trip     322       297  
Non-revenue miles percentage(2)     0.6 %     1.1 %
Total miles (in thousands)     23,643       21,135  
                 
Intermodal Segment:                
Revenue (in thousands)   $ 22,971     $ 24,652  
Loads     9,251       10,737  
Average tractors     87       82  
                 
Brokerage Segment:                
Revenue (in thousands)   $ 26,605     $ 20,458  
Loads     15,266       11,889  
                 
At March 31, 2019 and March 31, 2018:                
Total tractors(1)     2,867       2,785  
Average age of company tractors (in years)     1.8       1.6  
Total trailers     5,313       5,308  
Average age of company trailers (in years)     2.5       2.6  
Ratio of trailers to tractors(1)     1.9       1.9  

   

    Three Months  
    Ended March 31,  
(In thousands)   2019     2018  
                 
Net cash provided by operating activities   $ 36,803     $ 23,182  
Net cash (used for) investing activities     (5,911 )     (27,392 )
Net cash (used for) financing activities     (2,129     (1,183 )
                 
Weighted average shares outstanding:                
Basic     54,553       54,572  
Diluted     55,046       55,095  

/EIN News/ --

(1)   Includes tractors driven by both company-employed drivers and independent contractors. Independent contractors provided 46 and 55 tractors as of March 31, 2019 and 2018, respectively. 
   
(2)   Represents the percentage of miles for which the company is not compensated.

 

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