Werner’s revenues and earnings fall in 3Q

TL carrier Werner Enterprises said its earnings declined 5% to 30 cents per share as revenues decreased 6% to $510.3 million in the third quarter

TL carrier Werner Enterprises said its earnings declined 5% to 30 cents per share as revenues decreased 6% to $510.3 million in the third quarter this year compared to the same period in 2006.

Werner said in its third quarter earnings release that soft freight demand and the temporary increase in the supply of trucks caused by the industry’s truck pre-buy in 2006 made for continued challenging market conditions. The company also noted that load volumes for its dry van network were lower in July, August, and September than in the same months of the previous four years.

The carrier added that in April it reduced its dry van medium-to-long-haul fleet by 250 trucks, or about 8%, then cut an additional 400 trucks in June – moves that contributed to a year-over-year miles per truck improvement of 2% during third quarter this year compared to the same third quarter in 2006. It continues to diversify its operations as well, with dedicated contract carriage representing 36% of revenues, Mexico and Canada international truckload revenues generating 11% of revenues, and logistics services producing 11% of revenues, all helping to soften the impact of a less favorable freight market in third quarter this year.

Werner said its average fuel cost per gallon in third quarter this year was 7 cents per gallon higher than the same period last year, though fuel pricing remained extremely volatile. Fuel costs were 5 cents lower this July than July 2006, 18 cents lower in August compared to August 2006, but 45 cents higher in September than September 2006.

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