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J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. experienced a 33% increase in revenue year-over-year for the first quarter of 2022, the company reported April 18.
The Lowell, Ark.-based transportation and logistics company posted net earnings of $243.3 million, or $2.29 a diluted share, for the three months ending March 31. That compared with $146.6 million, $1.37, during the same time the previous year. Total revenue increased by 33% to $3.49 billion from $2.62 billion.
The results surpassed expectations by investment analysts on Wall Street, who had been looking for $1.91 per share and quarterly revenue of $3.26 billion, according to Zacks Consensus Estimate.
J.B. Hunt reported that revenue for its truckload segment grew 77% to $264.3 million from $149.5 million during the same time last year. This was primarily due to increased load volume and higher revenue per load. Volume for the segment was up 17% year-over-year as total trailer count increased by approximately 3,000 units. Revenue per load was up 47% on a 10% increase in length of haul.
Operating income for the truckload segment increased 210% to $31.5 million from $10.2 million the prior year. Benefits from higher volume and revenue quality led to an improvement in contribution margins across the segment. These benefits were partially offset by higher purchased transportation expense, maintenance costs and continued technology investments.
The Integrated Capacity Solutions segment reported that revenue increased 29% to $675.4 million from $524.9 million last year. This was due to overall segment volumes increasing 12% versus the prior-year period. Revenue per load increased 14% due to higher contractual and spot rates in the truckload business as well as changes in customer freight mix.
ICS operating income grew 243% to $25 million from $7.3 million. Benefits from higher revenue and gross margin were partially offset by higher wages and further investments into platform infrastructure and development.
The intermodal segment saw revenue increase 36% to $1.6 billion from $1.2 billion the prior year. The report noted eastern network loads increased 10% while transcontinental loads increased 5% for the quarter. But volumes early in the quarter were negatively impacted by network fluidity issues attributable to labor challenges within the activities of rail providers and customers, as well as internal operations largely as a result of disruptions related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Intermodal operating income increased 87% to $200.9 million from $107.5 million. This was driven by higher customer rate and cost recovery efforts and approximately $14 million of increased gains on the sale of equipment compared to the prior-year period. Rate and cost recovery efforts were partially offset by higher rail and third-party dray purchased transportation costs, wage increases, recruiting costs and inefficiencies in the rail and port networks.
The J.B. Hunt 360° marketplace helped drive growth in the three segments. Total freight transactions in the marketplace increased 36% to $600 million in the first quarter of 2022 compared with $443 million in the prior-year quarter. ICS revenue on the platform increased 20% to $430 million versus a year ago. Truck segment revenue through the platform increased 125% to approximately $116 million. Intermodal segment revenue increased 68% to $54 million.
The Final Mile Services segment reported that revenue increased 8% to $218.5 million from $201.9 million last year. This was driven by the addition of multiple customer contracts implemented over the last year and complemented by the previously announced acquisition of Zenith Freight Lines that closed at the end of February. Revenue growth in the quarter was partially offset by supply chain-related constraints and internal efforts to improve revenue quality across certain accounts.
The FMS segment also experienced an operating loss of $180,000 compared with a gain of $8.5 million in the prior-year quarter. The higher revenue was more than offset by increases in wages, implementation costs for newly awarded business, third-party contract carrier expense, recruiting costs and professional fees related to the acquisition.
The Dedicated Contract Services segment reported revenue increased 28% to $741.3 million from $580 million. This was due to revenue per truck per week increasing approximately 6% versus the prior period. This was somewhat offset by lower productivity of equipment on startup accounts, pandemic related labor disruptions and a greater number of open trucks.
DCS operating income increased 4% to $77.1 million from $74.3 million. Benefits from higher revenue and contracted indexed-based price escalators were mostly offset by increases in professional driver and non-driver wages and benefits, higher driver-recruiting costs, labor headwinds due to the pandemic and the implementation of new contractual business.
J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. ranks No. 4 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America. It also ranks No. 5 on the TT list of the 100 largest logistics companies in North America.
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