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story.lead_photo.caption Graphs showing information about USA Truck's First quarter

USA Truck Inc.'s turnaround under chief executive James Reed continued in the first quarter, when the Van Buren-based company reported net income of $1 million, or 13 cents per share.

The trucking company's quarterly earnings were an improvement from a year ago, when USA Truck lost $4.9 million and recorded its fifth-straight quarter of losses. USA Truck also reported $125 million in revenue Thursday, which was a 23 percent increase from $101.7 million from the same period a year ago.

Both figures beat analyst expectations of 10 cents per share and revenue of $114.1 million.

Reed said in a statement that USA Truck faced several challenges but was able to build momentum and record its third-straight quarter of profits. It was just the second time USA Truck has had a profitable first quarter in the past 11 years.

"We continued to deliver improved operational and financial results throughout the quarter, and believe the progress in our rate, revenue and profit measures has outpaced market forces," Reed said in the statement. "This is a testament to our team's commitment to become one of the best performing companies in our sector."

Revenue in the company's trucking segment increased to $78.8 million during the first quarter, which was an improvement from $70.5 million a year ago. USA Truck reported a $500,000 operating income loss in the segment, but it was an improvement from $7.1 million in losses a year ago.

USA Truck said base revenue per loaded mile increased 15.5 percent compared with the first quarter of 2017.

The company's logistics business -- USAT Logistics -- reported $46.8 million in revenue, a 43 percent increase from $32.7 million a year ago. Operating income also increased nearly 300 percent to $2.8 million. USA Truck said the change was the result of a 45.3 percent increase in revenue per load.

USA Truck benefited from tighter capacity in the trucking industry, but the company also experienced issues that affected the business that included weather, increasing difficulties in recruiting drivers and rising fuel prices.

"While we are pleased with our team's progress, we still feel that we have a long way to go," Reed said.

The company announced its quarterly results after the market closed Thursday. Shares of USA Truck stock closed trading at $24.47 a share, down 4 percent.

USA Truck will hold a conference call at 8 a.m. today to discuss its first-quarter results. The call can be accessed by dialing (844) 824-3828.

A live webcast of the conference call will be available through the investor relations section of the company's website www.usa-truck.com.

Business on 04/27/2018

Print Headline: USA Truck rebounds in 1Q; Carrier reports $1M profit after losing $4.9M a year ago

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