U.S. Xpress stays profitable despite charges

Truckload carrier U.S. Xpress Enterprises stayed profitable in 2002 despite several charges against earnings to cover the costs of a lawsuit settlement and debt reduction. For the year, U.S. Xpress reported net income of $1.1 million on revenues of $862.3 million, compared to a loss of $1.1 million on revenues of $798 million. The carrier's net income, however, was reduced by a $1.7 million charge

Truckload carrier U.S. Xpress Enterprises stayed profitable in 2002 despite several charges against earnings to cover the costs of a lawsuit settlement and debt reduction.

For the year, U.S. Xpress reported net income of $1.1 million on revenues of $862.3 million, compared to a loss of $1.1 million on revenues of $798 million. The carrier's net income, however, was reduced by a $1.7 million charge to settle a lawsuit brought by truckload rival Forward Air Corp. and $1.1 million charge for the early retirement of debt.

The lawsuit stems from a case brought by Greenville, TN-based Forward Air last year charging unfair competition and trademark infringement. Along with legal expenses, that settlement cost U.S. Xpress $1.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2002, which it said wiped out $1.4 million in net income gained on revenues of $229.4 million.

Revenues increased 13.8% in the fourth quarter of 2002 and rose 8.1% for the year on the strength of 3.8% higher utilization, as measured by revenue miles per tractor. U.S. Xpress also levied a 2.4% rate increase per revenue mile last year and reduced its percentage of empty miles, the company said.

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