J.B. Hunt posts 6.5% profit rise in 2nd quarter

Posted: July 15, 2014 at 8:25 a.m.

J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. on Tuesday reported second-quarter net earnings of $93.4 million, or 79 cents per diluted share, up 6.5 percent from the previous second quarter’s results of $87.7 million, or 73 cents per share.

Total operating revenue was $1.55 billion, up 12 percent from $1.38 billion the year before, the Lowell-based trucking firm said.

"The slowdown in train velocity and the difficult driver recruiting environment has challenged our growth in JBI,” President and CEO John Roberts III said in a statement, referring to the firm’s intermodal division, which depends heavily on railroad transport and posted a 9 percent revenue gain for the quarter. “The worsening driver supply conditions will continue to be a headwind for [Dedicated Contract Services] and [the truck segment] as well. The planned improvement in [the truck segment] is ahead of schedule and though there is more to do, we are extremely pleased with the progress thus far," he added.

The dedicated services unit, which contracts with customers to handle their freight, saw a 15 percent revenue rise “as productivity improved on large private fleet conversions implemented a year ago,” the trucking firm said.

"While we continue to work to improve customer service and equipment utilization levels to achieve our expected market growth, the second quarter results demonstrate the combined earnings value of our four diversified, yet integrated, business units," Robert said.