C.H. Robinson's Q1 net income up 15.5% to US$97M as higher consumer demand let companies ship more products but falls short of analyst expectations; revenue up 14% to US$2.37B, beats expectations

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minnesota , April 27, 2011 () – C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc.'s first-quarter net income and sales rose as higher consumer demand let companies to ship more products and spend more on its transportation services.

The freight logistics company, based in Eden Prairie, Minn., said Tuesday that overall shipments rose 18 percent in the quarter that ended March 31, boosting its sales and profit each about 15 percent.

Using trucks, trains, ships and airplanes owned by other firms, C.H. Robinson helps manufacturers, retailers and others transport goods from factories and warehouses to their next stops along the supply chain.

C.H. Robinson's net income for the quarter rose to $97 million, or 59 cents per share, from $84 million, or 50 cents per share, a year earlier.

Price hikes helped the company boost net revenue in each of its five transportation divisions, including container shipping, where volume declined modestly.

Revenue increased 14 percent, to $2.37 billion, from $2.07 billion in the period a year earlier.

The transportation division's revenue increased 20 percent, driven by double-digit increases in revenue from truck, ocean and container shipping.

The only business segment to report lower revenue was the company's sourcing division, which buys, sells and markets fresh produce -- the business where C.H. Robinson started in 1905. Sourcing revenue fell 6 percent, mostly because a major customer did less business with the company, C.H. Robinson said.

The net income result fell just short of analysts' expectations, while revenue beat the Street. Analysts surveyed by FactSet projected net income of 60 cents per share on revenue of $2.3 billion.

C.H. Robinson shares slipped 24 cents to $79 after hours Tuesday after the company reported its financial results. They rose 73 cents during regular trading to close at $79.24.

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