* Q4 EPS $0.02 vs loss/shr $0.90 year ago
* Q4 rev up 11 pct
* Does not see meaningful yield improvement in Q1
* Shares down as much as 10 pct
(Recasts; adds conference call and analyst comments, share
By Fareha Khan
BANGALORE, March 25 Logistics company UTi
Worldwide Inc UTIW.O swung to a quarterly profit, helped by a
22 percent increase in airfreight forwarding revenue, but said
it has not yet seen a meaningful yield improvement in the first
quarter of fiscal 2011.
The company said yield compression was particularly acute
in January as volumes remained strong and carrier rates moved
higher, and added that transportation rates continued to climb
through the fourth quarter.
"When carrier rates move higher, (UTi) has to pay for the
cost, and they are not able to turn around and pass that cost
on to their customers quickly," BB&T Capital Markets analyst
Kevin Sterling said.
The analyst, expects to see continued compression going
forward for UTi, which buys and sells space on cargo ships.
However, Sterling added that yield compression can be
offset by UTi's growth in volumes, and said he sees growth to
continue in the coming quarters, specially in airfreight.
On a conference call with analysts, UTi said its adjusting
its pricing based on higher transportation rates and added that
its working on lowering achieved costs through improved
consolidation, cargo mix, and optimization of freight flows.
For the fourth quarter, the company reported net income
attributable to UTi of $1.5 million, or 2 cents a share,
compared with a net loss of $89.8 million, or 90 cents a share,
a year ago.
Excluding goodwill impairment and other charges, the
company posted adjusted earnings of 11 cents a share.
Revenue rose 11 percent to $991.5 million. Airfreight
forwarding revenue rose to $349.8 million.
Analysts on average were expecting the company to earn 16
cents a share, before special items, on revenue of $924.1
million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
UTi shares were trading down about 9 percent at $15.59
Thursday on Nasdaq. They had earlier touched a low of $15.36.
(Reporting by Fareha Khan in Bangalore; Editing by Bijoy
Koyitty) ((firstname.lastname@example.org; within U.S. +1 646
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