Werner Enterprises reports its Q4 earnings jumped 34% year-over-year to US$24.1M on higher end-year freight demand, higher prices for its services; revenue rose 5% to US$463.2M

Omaha, Nebraska , January 27, 2011 () – Trucking and logistics company Werner Enterprises Inc. said Wednesday that its fourth-quarter earnings jumped 34 percent as freight demand rose in late November and early December and it fetched higher prices for its services.

The trucking company earned $24.1 million, or 33 cents per share, for the period that ended Dec. 31. That's compared with $18 million, or 25 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 5 percent to $463.2 million.

Analysts on average expected earnings of 31 cents per share and revenue of $471.6 million for the quarter, according to FactSet.

The average revenue the trucker made per mile rose 4.2 percent on higher freight prices and a lower percentage of "empty miles" -- when a truck is driving without any freight. Diesel fuel prices were 39 cents per gallon higher in fourth quarter 2010 than in fourth quarter 2009.

The company said its business returned to seasonal levels in November after a sluggish October.

For all of 2010, the company earned $80 million, or $1.10 per share, compared with $56.6 million, or 79 cents per share, in 2009.

Revenue rose to $1.82 billion from $1.67 billion a year ago.

Analysts on average expected earnings of $1.08 per share and revenue of $1.818 billion for 2010.

Werner said freight demand is slightly lower this month than in January last year. But it's optimistic it will be able to secure more price increases later this year. Werner said many of its contracts with customers are up for renewal in the first half of this year, which will allow for higher rates.

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