J B Hunt Transport Services Inc has announced record annual net earnings of $51.8 million for 2002, compared with 2001 full-year earnings of $32.9 million. Total operating revenue for the year was $2.25 billion, compared with $2.10 billion in 2001.
Operating income rose 40% from $72.2 million in 2001 to $101 million in 2002 on a 7% rise in revenues. Net earnings surged 57% to a record $51.8 million in 2002 from $32.9 million in 2001. Earnings per share jumped 46% in spite of a nearly 8% increase in average shares outstanding.
Fourth-quarter 2002 net earnings were $14.7 million, compared with 2001 fourth quarter earnings of $18.2 million. The fourth quarter earnings for 2002 were negatively influenced by a higher income tax rate, higher insurance and claim costs, and a loss incurred on a terminal facility the company has agreed to sell. As previously reported, fourth-quarter 2001 benefited from a change in the method of estimating ultimate losses relating to liability and worker compensation claims.
Total operating revenue for the fourth quarter of 2002 was $597.7 million, compared with $546.2 million in 2001.