Marten Transport Ltd (Nasdaq/GS:MRTN) has reported the highest net income for any year in its history. For the year ended December 31, 2013, net income improved 10.6% to a record $30.1 million from $27.3 million in 2012. For the fourth quarter of 2013, net income decreased to $7.3 million from $7.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2012. Operating revenue, consisting of revenue from truckload and logistics operations, decreased slightly to $166.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2013 from $166.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, and increased to $659.2 million in 2013 from $638.5 million in 2012. Operating revenue, net of fuel surcharges and MW Logistics LLC (MWL) revenue, increased 5.6% to $134.5 million in the 2013 quarter from $127.4 million in the 2012 quarter, and increased 7.8% to $524.8 million in 2013 from $486.7 million in 2012.
Fuel surcharge revenue decreased to $31.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2013 from $32.2 million in the 2012 quarter, and increased to $127.7 million in 2013 from $121.1 million in 2012. With the March 2013 deconsolidation of MWL, no MWL revenue was included in the fourth quarter of 2013 compared with $6.7 million in the 2012 quarter. MWL revenue included in 2013 decreased by $24.0 million from 2012 with the deconsolidation. Operating expenses as a percentage of operating revenue, with both amounts net of fuel surcharge revenue, was 90.6% in the fourth quarter of 2013, compared with the 90.2% ratio achieved in the fourth quarter of 2012. The ratio improved to 90.2% in 2013 from 91.1% in 2012. The ratio in 2013 was the Mondovi WI-based carrier’s best since 2005 and the fourth consecutive year with improved results. Randolph L Marten, chairman and chief executive officer, said, “We are pleased to announce our highest net income for any year in our history. These results were earned in a challenging rate environment with significant industry headwinds including higher equipment and maintenance costs, pay inflation to drivers within a contracting driver market, and revised hours of service regulations. We continued to grow our business with our total truckload, intermodal, and broker loads up 7.5% in the fourth quarter of 2013 and up 10.2% in 2013 over the prior year’s periods—and expect continued growth in 2014, principally with our dedicated truckload, intermodal, and Mexico operations. We also continue to drive improvements in revenue per tractor, which increased 3.9% in the fourth quarter of 2013 and 3.8% in 2013 over the prior year’s periods. We believe that we are better positioned than ever for future performance growth with our diverse service infrastructure and the dedicated people who have built it with their smart, hard work.”