Monday, July 15, 2013

Read into The Earnings Statements - Freight is Soft - Beyond the Hype

I found something very intriguing for shippers in the JB Hunt earnings release and it had to do with the ICS (Integrated Capacity Solutions) earnings.  Essentially, the group is a broker so they act a lot like an actual shipper.  They have loads and they go to the open market to procure those loads.  Here is what the results say:
  • Revenue - $132M up 20%
  • Operating Income - $4.2M up 113%
That is telling as the OI is increasing at a dramatic pace over the revenue.  Why is this?  In their words:
"Operating income increased 113% over the same period 2012 primarily due to increased revenue and improvement in gross profit margin. Gross profit margin increased to 11.8% in the current quarter vs. 10.6% last year. A softer carrier environment contributed to the increase. " [Bold is mine]
So, those who are closest to the market are telling you there is a soft carrier environment out there.  A good line to have when a carrier comes in to tell you how tight the market is and why they need a rate increase.  With Revenue in a quarter of about $130M that makes this entity a $520M shipper - many shippers have a lot more freight than that and should be able to get the same results.

I am not picking on JB Hunt here, they are an incredible company, I merely use these results and statements to show what is really going on  - beyond the hype. 

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