Patriot sells off flatbed operation

Patriot Transportation Holding is managing to hold its own, with its bottom line bolstered in part by the sale of its flatbed division

Despite the tough freight market, Patriot Transportation Holding is managing to hold its own, with its bottom line bolstered in part by the sale of its flatbed division.

Primarily a real estate company with a large trucking operation, Patriot said transportation segment revenues were $22.6 million in its third fiscal quarter of 2009, a decrease of $5.46 million over the same quarter in fiscal 2008 year. Revenue miles in the current quarter were down 8.0% compared to last year, but were more than offset by increased revenue per mile, cost management and higher gains on equipment sales – gains in part due to the sale of its flatbed trucking company, SunBelt Transport, on Aug. 13.

Patriot said SunBelt’s buyer purchased all of the flatbed operator’s tractors, trailers, and related inventory for $1 million cash. The buyer also picked up the leases for Sunbelt terminal facilities in Jacksonville, FL, for 36 months at a rental of $5,000 per month and leased the terminal facilities in South Pittsburgh, TN, for 60 months at a rental of $5,000 per month with an option to purchase those Tennessee facilities at the end of the lease for payment of an additional $100,000.

Though Patriot said its transportation arm is still profitable – posting income of $2.21 million or 70 cents per diluted share in the third quarter of fiscal 2009 – it took charges to account for its discontinued flatbed operations, resulting in an after-tax loss of $2.61 million versus income of $194,000 for the same period in fiscal 2008.

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