Frozen Food Express tallies Q1 2011 results

May 2, 2011
Frozen Food Express Industries Inc (Nasdaq:FFEX) reported its financial and operating results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2011.

Frozen Food Express Industries Inc (Nasdaq:FFEX) reported its financial and operating results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2011.

Total operating revenue in the quarter increased $6.3 million to $92.1 million compared with $85.8 million in the same period of 2010. Total operating revenue, net of fuel surcharges, rose slightly to $73.4 million, versus $73.3 million in the same period a year ago. The net loss for the 2011 first quarter was $7.9 million, in contrast to $3.7 million in the same quarter of 2010.

“Despite severe weather that curtailed many customer operations in January and February, truckload revenue during the first quarter of 2011 was relatively flat in comparison with the same period a year ago,” said Russell Stubbs, the Dallas TX-based carrier’s president and chief executive officer. “Continued capacity constraint in the truckload sector provided pricing strength in this segment that was able to offset the 5.7% decline in loaded miles that was influenced by the bad weather.

“Demand for our less-than-truckload services continued to improve during the first quarter with a 6.3% increase in tonnage,” he said. “This more than offset competitive pricing pressures that this segment continues to face, and resulted in a 3.7% increase in sales from this segment. This growth, year over year, was remarkable considering our major less-than-truckload markets of Dallas-Fort Worth, Atlanta, Chicago, and the Northeast, served by our Burlington NJ facility, lost numerous revenue days in January and February due to heavy winter storms.”

During the first quarter of 2011, total operating expenses increased $9.5 million, or 10.4%, to $100.9 million compared with $91.4 million during the first quarter of 2010.

“We opened the FFE Driver Academy during the first quarter, which has been a cost-effective way to attract and retain qualified drivers,” said Stubbs. “Pricing strength in our truckload segment, improving demand, and fuel surcharges were not enough to offset the significant increase in diesel fuel costs and the severe weather conditions, which resulted in disappointing results for the first quarter of 2011. However, we experienced improvement in financial performance during March, as weather patterns normalized and demand and yield continued to improve. We are encouraged by the response to our new driving academy as this will help address the driver shortage.”

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