Old Dominion Freight Line’s ( ODFL Quick Quote ODFL - Free Report) first-quarter 2021 earnings per share of $1.70 outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 12 cents. Moreover, the bottom line surged 53.2% year over year. This upside was driven by a vast improvement in the operating ratio (operating expenses as a percentage of revenues) on the back of higher revenues.
Revenues of $1126.5 million also surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,106.6 million and increased 14.1% year over year as well, led by an 8.3% increase in LTL (Less-Than-Truckload) tons and a 5.6% uptick in LTL revenue per hundredweight.
In the quarter under review, LTL weight per shipment and LTL revenue per shipment rose 1.3% and 7%, respectively. Moreover, LTL shipments were up 6.9%. LTL shipments per day increased 8.6% year over year.
The company’s major revenue-generating segment LTL services logged a total of $1,109.6. million, increasing 13.9% year over year. Revenues from other services jumped 30.6% to $16.9 million. Total operating expenses rose 6.5% to $856.9 million, mainly due to the 4% rise in costs pertaining to salaries, wages & benefits and a 15.2% escalation in operating supplies & expenses.
Moreover, the operating ratio improved 530 basis points to 76.1%. Notably, lower the value of this metric, the better.
Old Dominion exited the quarter with cash and cash equivalents worth $351.9 million compared with $401.43 million at the end of 2020. Capital expenditures incurred in the reported quarter were $51 million. Old Dominion expects a capex of $605 million for 2021. Of the total, $275 million is anticipated to be invested in real estate and service-center expansion. The company expects to spend $290 million and $40 million on tractors/trailers, and technology and other assets, respectively.
During the first quarter, Old Dominion, currently carrying a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), rewarded its shareholders with $23.2 million through cash dividends. Moreover, during the March quarter, the trucking company utilized $309 million of its share buyback program, which is inclusive of a $275-million accelerated share repurchase agreement that will expire by August 2021.
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Within the broader
Transportation sector, Delta Air Lines ( DAL Quick Quote DAL - Free Report) , J.B. Hunt Transport Services ( JBHT Quick Quote JBHT - Free Report) and Kansas City Southern ( KSU Quick Quote KSU - Free Report) recently released first-quarter 2021 results.
Delta incurred a loss (excluding $1.70 from non-recurring items) of $3.55 per share, wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of $3.08. However, total revenues of $4,150 million topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3,821.3 million.
J.B. Hunt reported earnings of $1.37 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.18. Total operating revenues of $2,618.1 million also surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2,486.9 million.
Kansas City Southern reported earnings (excluding 23 cents from non-recurring items) of $1.91 per share, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2. Moreover, the top line of $706 million lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $714.3 million.
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