J.B. Hunt says contract services, intermodal more resilient than traditional truckload operations during sluggish economy; higher fuel surcharges, shortages in truck capacity, especially in Southeast, helped boost intermodal revenue

LOWELL, Arkansas , July 15, 2011 (press release) – Trucking operator J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. reported a 26 percent increase in second-quarter profit on higher revenue, including fuel surcharges.

The company said it earned $65.7 million, or 53 cents per share, matching the forecast of analysts polled by FactSet. That compared with $52.1 million, or 40 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 22 percent to $1.15 billion from $943 million. Analysts expected $1.11 billion. Revenue included $225.2 million in fuel surcharges in the latest quarter, up 72 percent from $130.7 million a year earlier.

At 4 percent, traditional truckload shipping had the smallest revenue increase among Hunt's four business segments. Contract services and intermodal, such as shipments that move by rail and truck, grew more strongly and accounted for more than 80 percent of revenue.

The company said contract services and intermodal showed more resiliency than traditional truckload operations during a sluggish economy and unsteady freight markets. Higher fuel surcharges and shortages in truck capacity, especially in the Southeast, helped boost intermodal revenue.

Hunt shares fell 26 cents to close at $47.71 before the earnings were released.

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