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J.B. Hunt handily beats Q1 expectations

J.B. Hunt Transport Services reported first-quarter 2022 earnings per share of $2.29 Monday after the market closed, 92 cents better year-over-year and 35 cents ahead of the consensus estimate.

Gains on equipment sales were a tailwind, up $18 million year-over-year.

Consolidated revenue increased 33% year-over-year to $3.49 billion with all the company’s segments reporting an increase. Revenue was 27% higher year-over-year excluding the impact of fuel surcharges.

J.B. Hunt’s (NASDAQ: JBHT) operating income increased 61% year-over-year to $334 million “primarily due to higher volumes, customer rate and cost recovery efforts, and further scaling of investments in our people and technology,” a press release read. The increase in gains on sale was also a contributor.

The company’s largest segment, intermodal, booked revenue of $1.6 billion, a 36% increase from the year-ago quarter. Loads were up 7% year-over-year compared to total Class I rail traffic, which was down 7% in the quarter. Revenue per load (+27.5%) outpaced costs per load (+22.8%), driving 340 basis points of operating ratio improvement at 87.5%.

Dedicated revenue increased 28% year-over-year to $741 million, but revenue per truck per week (+6%) was flat excluding fuel surcharges. The division reported 240 bps of OR deterioration at 89.6%. Increases in wages, benefits and recruiting costs, as well as labor disruptions at customer facilities and contract startup costs, were the culprits.

Brokerage revenue was up 29% year-over-year in the quarter as loads increased 12% and revenue per load was 14% higher. Gross margin increased 60 bps to 13% with operating income up by more than three times at $25 million.

The company will host a call at 5 p.m. EDT Monday to discuss results with analysts. Stay tuned to FreightWaves for continuing coverage of J.B. Hunt’s earnings announcement.

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The FREIGHTWAVES TOP 500 For-Hire Carriers list includes J.B. Hunt (No. 4).