Frozen Food Express Industries' Q3 loss narrowed to US$5.6M from US$13.7M in year-ago period as revenue slipped 7% to US$95.6M

Cindy Allen

Cindy Allen

Nov 15, 2012 – Globe Newswire

DALLAS , November 15, 2012 (press release) – Frozen Food Express Industries, Inc. (FFEX) today announced its financial and operating results for the quarter ended September 30, 2012. A summary of third quarter of 2012 financial results include:

  • Total operating revenue decreased 7.0% to $95.6 million versus the same period of 2011, primarily due to the expected decline in dry freight services revenue, related to our decision to exit dry van services in the third quarter of 2011.
  • Continued improvement in operating ratio versus the same period of 2011 despite significant economic headwinds.
  • Revenue per truck per week increased 8.4% to $3,499 compared to $3,229 in the same period of 2011.
  • Improved operating loss of $5.3 million versus a loss of $13.5 million in the same period of 2011.
  • Net loss per share of diluted common stock was ($0.32), compared to a net loss per diluted common share of ($0.77) in the same period of 2011.
"We are excited to show strong improvement over the third quarter of 2011, led by continued tonnage and yield growth in our LTL services," said Russell Stubbs, the Company's President and Chief Executive Officer. "Nevertheless, after the strong operating results of the second quarter, we expected a better third quarter. Our third quarter results were negatively impacted by increasing fuel prices, reduced truckload volumes caused by a weak economy, higher insurance and claims expenses, and a decline in oil drilling activity that cut our water transport revenue significantly versus the second quarter. As was the case with many of our competitors, the steadily increasing fuel prices in the third quarter didn't allow our fuel surcharge revenue to offset the increases, which had a negative impact of $1.9 million versus the second quarter of this year. Additionally, insurance and claims expenses increased $1.9 million versus the second quarter, but we are having an improved year in this area and we are pleased our insurance and claims expenses are trending better than we have experienced in the prior five years," Stubbs said.

Mr. Stubbs continued, stating, "I was disappointed with the decline in our water transport revenue, but it has proven to be somewhat volatile and difficult to track on a quarterly basis. However, drilling activity has picked up in the first few weeks of the fourth quarter, and on an annual basis we are satisfied with the return we are achieving from this investment. Truckload volume is also showing improvement which is a positive sign for the fourth quarter. We feel that our improvement plan for 2012 is proceeding despite the challenges we have outlined above. Our truckload fleet age has dropped from 2.7 years old to 1.8 years old over the last 12 months. We have decreased non-driver headcount by 12%, we continue to improve our yield and equipment productivity, and we are continuing to seek out and grow higher margin revenue accounts. As we continue on this path we should see improvement in the fourth quarter of this year."


"As a result of multiple factors, our results for the third quarter and forecasted results for the remainder of 2012 are below the expectations we set earlier in the year. In the third quarter, we experienced an unexpected steep decline in activity in our water transport business and a sharp increase in fuel prices. Also, while we continue to experience a significant improvement in our LTL business, the truckload market has softened somewhat. While we are confident that the structural changes we have made will restore the Company to profitability and we continue to expect significant improvement in year-over-year results, near-term market pressures have slowed the pace of our recovery," concluded Mr. Stubbs.

About FFEX

Frozen Food Express Industries, Inc. is one of the leading temperature-controlled truckload and less-than-truckload carriers in the United States with core operations in the transport of temperature-controlled products and perishable goods including food, health care and confectionery products. Service is offered in over-the-road and intermodal modes for temperature-controlled truckload and less-than-truckload, as well as dry truckload on a non-dedicated fleet basis. We also provide bulk tank water transportation, brokerage/logistics and dedicated services to our customers. Additional information about Frozen Food Express Industries, Inc. can be found at To join our email alert list, please click on the following link: The Company's common stock is traded on the Nasdaq Global Select market under the symbol FFEX.

The Frozen Food Express Industries, Inc. logo is available at

Forward-Looking Statements

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. Forward-looking statements include statements relating to plans, strategies, objectives, expectations, intentions, and adequacy of resources, and may be identified by words such as "will", "could", "should", "believe", "expect", "intend", "plan", "schedule", "estimate", "project", and similar expressions. Those statements are based on current expectations and are subject to uncertainty and change. Although our management believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, there can be no assurance that such expectations will be realized. Should one or more of the risks or uncertainties underlying such expectations not materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those expected. Among the key factors that are not within our management's control and that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in such forward-looking statements are demand for the Company's services and products, and its ability to meet that demand, which may be affected by, among other things, competition, weather conditions and the general economy, the availability and cost of labor and owner-operators, the ability to negotiate favorably with lenders and lessors, the continued growth of hydraulic fracturing techniques for oil and gas drilling in West Texas, the effects of terrorism and war, the availability and cost of equipment, fuel and supplies, the market for previously-owned equipment, the impact of changes in the tax and regulatory environment in which the company operates, operational risks and insurance, risks associated with the technologies and systems used and the other risks and uncertainties described in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Given the volatility in fuel prices and the impact fuel surcharge revenues have on total operating revenues, we often make reference to total operating revenue excluding fuel surcharges to provide a more consistent basis for comparison of operating revenue without the impact of fluctuating fuel prices. Readers should review and consider these factors along with the various disclosures by the Company in its press releases, stockholder reports and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company does not assume, and specifically disclaims, any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect actual results or changes in the factors affecting the forward-looking information.

Frozen Food Express Industries, Inc. and Subsidiaries
Consolidated Condensed Balance Sheets
(Unaudited and in thousands, except per-share amounts)
Assets September 30,
December 31,
Current assets    
Cash and cash equivalents $ 1,448 $ 1,048
Accounts receivable, net 42,410 43,450
Tires on equipment in use, net 7,705 5,968
Equipment held for sale 1,898 3,437
Other current assets 7,970 7,868
Total current assets 61,431 61,771
Property and equipment, net 46,630 57,757
Deferred income taxes 1,009 1,009
Other assets 5,862 5,867
Total assets $ 114,932 $ 126,404
Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity    
Current liabilities    
Accounts payable $ 27,898 $ 30,339
Insurance and claims accruals 9,125 10,667
Accrued payroll and deferred compensation 4,711 4,047
Accrued liabilities 1,428 1,251
Current maturities of notes payable and capital lease obligations 2,060 1,936
Deferred income taxes 690 690
Total current liabilities 45,912 48,930
Borrowings under credit facility 23,899 19,888
Long-term notes payable and capital lease obligations 7,362 8,901
Insurance and claims accruals 4,848 5,783
Total liabilities 82,021 83,502
Shareholders' equity    
Common stock, $1.50 par value per share; 75,000 shares authorized; 18,572 shares issued 27,858 27,858
Additional paid-in capital 914 427
Accumulated other comprehensive loss (62) (67)
Retained earnings 11,331 21,572
Total common shareholders' equity 40,041 49,790
Treasury stock (1,013 and 980 shares), at cost (7,130) (6,888)
Total shareholders' equity 32,911 42,902
Total liabilities and shareholders' equity $ 114,932 $ 126,404
Frozen Food Express Industries, Inc. and Subsidiaries
Consolidated Condensed Statements of Operations
(Unaudited and in thousands, except per-share amounts)
  Three Months
Ended September 30,
Nine Months
Ended September 30,
  2012 2011 2012 2011
Total operating revenue $ 95,624 $ 102,834 $ 279,264 $ 296,270
Operating expenses        
Salaries, wages and related expenses 29,515 31,766 86,818 90,868
Purchased transportation 17,952 18,357 50,272 51,856
Fuel 21,247 25,854 60,016 73,654
Supplies and maintenance 14,340 15,710 39,106 42,561
Revenue equipment rent 10,691 9,200 31,205 26,553
Depreciation 2,701 4,827 8,668 13,875
Communications and utilities 1,123 1,171 3,299 3,518
Claims and insurance 3,734 7,476 7,503 13,204
Operating taxes and licenses 924 985 3,076 3,089
Gain on sale of property and equipment (2,402) (661) (4,939) (1,234)
Miscellaneous 1,095 1,626 3,192 4,352
Total operating expenses 100,920 116,311 288,216 322,296
Loss from operations (5,296) (13,477) (8,952) (26,026)
Interest and other expense (income)        
Interest expense 388 247 1,157 479
Equity in earnings of limited partnership (211) (192) (543) (551)
Life insurance and other 149 63 520 432
Total interest and other expense (income) 326 118 1,134 360
Loss before income taxes (5,622) (13,595) (10,086) (26,386)
Income tax expense (benefit) 41 73 155 (1,476)
Net loss $ (5,663) $ (13,668) $ (10,241) $ (24,910)
Net loss per share of common stock        
Basic $ (0.32) $ (0.77) $ (0.57) $ (1.42)
Diluted $ (0.32) $ (0.77) $ (0.57) $ (1.42)
Weighted average shares outstanding        
Basic 17,917 17,663 17,839 17,557
Diluted 17,917 17,663 17,839 17,557
The following table summarizes and compares the significant components of revenue and presents our operating ratio and revenue per truck per week for each of the three and nine month periods ended September 30:
  Three Months Nine Months
Revenue from (a) 2012 2011 2012 2011
Temperature-controlled services $ 25,999 $ 29,875 $ 77,821 $ 90,231
Dry-freight services 5,569 10,444 16,631 33,567
Total truckload linehaul services 31,568 40,319 94,452 123,798
Dedicated services 4,610 4,140 14,165 13,051
Total truckload 36,178 44,459 108,617 136,849
Less-than-truckload linehaul services 34,463 30,740 93,917 85,908
Fuel surcharges 18,968 21,298 56,124 62,683
Brokerage and logistics services 4,874 5,585 17,578 8,269
Equipment rental 1,141 752 3,028 2,561
Total operating revenue 95,624 102,834 279,264 296,270
Operating expenses 100,920 116,311 288,216 322,296
Loss from operations $ (5,296) $ (13,477) $ (8,952) $ (26,026)
Operating ratio (b) 105.5% 113.1% 103.2% 108.8%
Total truckload revenue $ 36,178 $ 44,459 $ 108,617 $ 136,849
Less-than-truckload linehaul revenue 34,463 30,740 93,917 85,908
Total linehaul and dedicated services revenue $ 70,641 $ 75,199 $ 202,534 $ 222,757
Weekly average trucks in service 1,536 1,772 1,504 1,772
Revenue per truck per week (c) $ 3,499 $ 3,229 $ 3,440 $ 3,223
Computational notes:
(a) Revenue and expense amounts are stated in thousands of dollars.
(b) Operating expenses divided by total operating revenue.
(c) Average daily revenue, times seven, divided by weekly average trucks in service.
The following table summarizes and compares selected statistical data relating to our freight operations for each of the three and nine month periods ended September 30:
  Three Months Nine Months
Truckload 2012 2011 2012 2011
Total linehaul miles (a) 21,219 27,994 63,561 87,748
Loaded miles (a) 18,549 24,809 55,890 77,889
Empty mile ratio (b) 12.6% 11.4% 12.1% 11.2%
Linehaul revenue per total mile (c) $ 1.49 $ 1.44 $ 1.49 $ 1.41
Linehaul revenue per loaded mile (d) $ 1.70 $ 1.63 $ 1.69 $ 1.59
Linehaul shipments (a) 20.3 27.8 60.9 86.4
Loaded miles per shipment (e) 914 891 918 902
Hundredweight 2,341,662 2,128,575 6,525,164 6,194,980
Shipments (a) 78.1 70.3 216.9 198.3
Linehaul revenue per hundredweight (f) $ 14.72 $ 14.44 $ 14.39 $ 13.87
Linehaul revenue per shipment (g) $ 441 $ 437 $ 433 $ 433
Average weight per shipment (h) 2,998 3,026 3,008 3,124
Computational notes:
(a) Amounts are stated in thousands.
(b) Total truckload linehaul miles less truckload loaded miles, divided by total truckload linehaul miles.
(c) Revenue from truckload linehaul services divided by total truckload linehaul miles.
(d) Revenue from truckload linehaul services divided by truckload loaded miles.
(e) Total truckload loaded miles divided by number of truckload linehaul shipments.
(f) LTL revenue divided by LTL hundredweight.
(g) LTL revenue divided by number of LTL shipments.
(h) LTL hundredweight times one hundred divided by number of shipments.
The following table summarizes and compares the makeup of our fleets between company-provided tractors and tractors provided by owner-operators as of September 30:
  2012 2011
Total company tractors available for freight operations 1,360 1,613
Total owner-operator tractors available for freight operations 275 286
Total tractors available for freight operations 1,635 1,899
Total trailers available for freight operations 3,100 3,826

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