Refrigerated truckload carrier Marten Transport is forecasting a small profit of $.05 to $.10 per share for the fourth quarter this year -- a steep drop from the $.31 per share profit it earned during the same period in 2001.
Chairman and pres. Randolph Marten said the carrier's profits are declining because of continued pressure on freight rates in the face of rising operating costs. "We had anticipated some improvement in rates during the quarter, but they have remained essentially flat," he said. "At the same time, our operating expenses have continued to rise, particularly for insurance and claims expenses."
The profit predictions come, however, on the heels of record third quarter revenues for Mondovi, WI-based Marten. The carrier said revenue topped $74.7 million in the third quarter, up from $70.8 million over the same period in 2001. Net income jumped 14.9% to over $1.86 million in the third quarter compared to the same period last year. For the first nine months of 2002, Marten earned over $5.39 million on $216.8 million in revenue, up from warnings of $5.19 million on revenue of $212.4 million in the same period last year.