ABC Revenue, Income Up for 4Q and Year

Arkansas Best Corporation today announced 4th quarter 2003 net income of $14.7 million, or 0.58 per share, compared to $14.5 million, or $0.57 per share for the same quarter in 2002. Excluding a net earnings negative impact of $0.03 per share associated with the sale of Clipper Exxpress's LTL customer and vendor lists and Clipper's subsequent exit from the LTL business, fourth quarter 2003 earnings

Arkansas Best Corporation today announced 4th quarter 2003 net income of $14.7 million, or 0.58 per share, compared to $14.5 million, or $0.57 per share for the same quarter in 2002.

Excluding a net earnings negative impact of $0.03 per share associated with the sale of Clipper Exxpress's LTL customer and vendor lists and Clipper's subsequent exit from the LTL business, fourth quarter 2003 earnings were $0.55 per common share. Revenue during the fourth quarter of 2003 was $387.1 million, an increase of 1.5% over the fourth quarter of 2002.

For the full year 2003, net income, was $42.3 million compared $40.8 million in 2002. Revenues for 2003 were $1.53 billion compared to $1.42 billion in 2002.

"In spite of minimal increases in yearly LTL tonnage levels, ABF improved its full year 2003 operating ratio to 94.3% with a revenue increase of 7.3%. Though tonnage declined in the fourth quarter from the previous year, it was actually stronger than we anticipated based on typical sequential trends,” said Robert A. Young III, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Arkansas Best's balance sheet strength combined with ABF's continued strong operational performance, as illustrated by a fourth quarter 2003 operating ratio of 93.5%, puts our company in a good position to take advantage of a promising economic outlook and other opportunities that exist within the trucking industry."

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