J.B. Hunt Transport 1Q Beats Street

J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. (NASDAQ:JBHT) posted strong first-quarter earnings and sales growth as the company saw a 23% increase in revenue from its Intermodal division as a result of load growth of 18%.

The trucking company reported net income of $50.1 million, or 40 cents a share, up from a year-ago profit of $37.5 million, or 29 cents a share. Operating margins widened to 9% from 8%.

Revenue rose 18% to $1 billion, up from last year’s sales of $845 million, as its integrated capacity solutions division and dedicated contract services business saw revenue increases of 22% and 15%, respectively, and trucking revenue rose 6%.

Results handily beat expectations, as analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had forecast earnings of 38 cents a share on revenue of $965 million.

"We leveraged our ability to create value for our customers by continuing the cost effective assignment of assets and services,” said John N. Roberts, JBHT President and CEO, in a statement. “With the effects of winter weather and rapidly rising fuel costs, it was a tough quarter to get through as well as we did.”

Shares of JB Hunt fell half of a percent in Wednesday’s session, before closing the day at $44.60 a share. The stock was up slightly in after-hours trading.