J.B. Hunt Transport Services ( JBHT Quick Quote JBHT - Free Report) reported better-than-expected first-quarter 2021 results. Quarterly earnings of $1.37 per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.18. The bottom line also increased 39.8% year over year due to higher revenues across most segments.
Total operating revenues of $2,618.1 million surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2,486.9 million and increased 14.8% year over year. Total operating revenues, excluding fuel surcharges, rose approximately 17% year over year. The top line was driven by robust performances across all segments.
Quarterly operating income (on a reported basis) moved up 34%. Meanwhile operating expenses rose 13.4%.
Segmental Highlights The Intermodal (“JBI”) division generated quarterly revenues of $1.18 billion, up 2% year over year. Volumes, which fell 3%, were heavily constrained by rail congestion, service issues and severe weather-related events. Operating income increased 5% year over year to $107.5 million. Revenues at the Dedicated Contract Services (“DCS”) segment rose 7% year over year to $580 million. Moreover, operating income augmented 2% year over year to $74.3 million from the prior-year quarter’s reported figure. Integrated Capacity Solutions (“ICS”) revenues surged 56% year over year to $525 million with 58% increase in revenue per load. Revenue per load benefited from higher spot and contractual rates. Segmental volumes declined 1% from the prior year quarter’s levels primarily due to customer freight mix changes. The segment’s operating income was $7.3 million, against an operating loss of $18.9 million in the year-ago period. Final Mile Services (“FMS”) revenues increased 31% to $202 million since stop count within the segment ascended 37% during the March-end quarter. The segment’s operating income increased to $8.5 million from the prior year’s operating loss of $3.3 million, driven primarily by increase in revenues. Truck (“JBT”) revenues were up 43% to $150 million, primarily due to increase in load count and revenue per load, excluding fuel surcharge revenues. At the end of the first quarter, total tractors and trailers were 1,716 and 8,571, respectively, compared with the respective year-ago quarter’s figures of 1,887 and 7,391. Meanwhile, operating income soared more than 100% to $10.2 million. Liquidity & Buyback
This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company exited the first quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $553 million compared with $313.3 million at the end of 2020. Long-term debt was $1.30 billion compared with $1.31 billion at 2020-end. Net capital expenditures for first-quarter 2021 approximated $86 million compared with $129 million for first-quarter 2020.
During the reported quarter, J.B. Hunt repurchased approximately 34,000 shares for around $5 million. The company had approximately $498 million remaining under its share repurchase authorization at the end of the first quarter.
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