J.B. Hunt profit meets estimate, revenue misses

Mon Jul 16, 2012 4:51pm EDT

(Reuters) - Trucker J.B. Hunt Transport Services (JBHT.O) reported quarterly profit that matched Wall Street estimates while revenue increased slightly less than expected on higher expenses.

The company said higher volume in its intermodal (JBI) and dedicated contract services (DCS) divisions were offset by higher costs for driver wages, rail transportation costs, maintenance, and other charges.

The Lowell, Arkansas-based company on Monday said net income rose to $80.5 million, or 67 cents a share, from $65.7 million, or 53 cents per share, a year earlier.

Earnings were directly in line with the average forecast, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Total operating revenue rose 9 percent to $1.26 billion, slightly below the average Wall Street view of $1.3 billion.

In the intermodal segment, the company's biggest, revenue rose by 13 percent from the same period a year ago as fuel prices moderated.

Intermodal refers to the shipment of goods in containers that can be shifted from one form of transportation to another, such as from truck to train.

Revenue rose by 1 percent in the second-largest segment, dedicated contract services. The company said lower fuel prices were partly offset by higher safety and maintenance costs as well as higher toll road charges.

J.B. Hunt said its debt outstanding rose to $679 million at the end of the quarter on June 30, from $664 million a year earlier. Its net capital spending for the first half of the year was about $171 million, down from $211 million in the same period a year ago.

The company said it did not buy back any of its common stock during the quarter.

J.B. Hunt's shares closed down 1.3 percent at $58.33, near the high of the past year's range between $34.42 and $61.18.

(Reporting by Lynn Adler; Editing by Gary Hill and Phil Berlowitz)

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