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J.B. Hunt’s Q1 misses expectations

J.B. Hunt Transport Services reported a worse-than-expected result Monday after the market closed. The transportation and logistics heavyweight pointed to weaker trends in its brokerage, intermodal and truckload divisions as the reason.

J.B. Hunt (NASDAQ: JBHT) reported earnings per share of $1.89 in the 2023 first quarter, 40 cents lower year over year (y/y) and 13 cents light of the consensus estimate. A $6 million loss on the sale of equipment, compared to a $17 million gain in the year-ago quarter, and an 18% increase in interest expense were also headwinds.

Brokerage revenue fell 42% y/y to $385 million as loads were down 26% and revenue per load dropped 22%. The unit booked a $5.4 million operating loss, a nearly $30 million reversal from a year ago.

Revenue in the TL segment declined 10% y/y to $206 million as an 8% increase in loads was more than offset by a 17% decline in revenue per load. The segment’s operating ratio fell more than 1,000 basis points to 97.6%.

Intermodal revenue declined 4% y/y to $1.54 billion as loads were off 5% and revenue per load increased 1% (flat excluding fuel surcharges). Improved network fluidity pushed average container turns nearly 5% higher y/y in the quarter, albeit on a fleet count that was 9% lower on average.

The bulk of the y/y declines in gains on sale occurred in the intermodal unit. The division booked an 89% OR, 160 bps worse y/y.

Shares of JBHT were down 1.8% in after-hours trading on Monday.

The company was hosting a conference call at 5 p.m. Monday to discuss results with analysts.

Stay tuned to FreightWaves for continuing coverage of J.B. Hunt’s earnings announcement.

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