$MRTN – Marten Transport Announces Third Quarter Results

MONDOVI, Wis., Oct. 19, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Marten Transport, Ltd. (Nasdaq/GS:MRTN) today reported a 9.9% increase in net income to $8.4 million, or 25 cents per diluted share, for the third quarter ended September 30, 2015, from $7.7 million, or 23 cents per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2014. For the nine-month period ended September 30, 2015, net income increased 29.2% to $27.0 million, or 80 cents per diluted share, from $20.9 million, or 62 cents per diluted share, for the first nine months of 2014. As previously reported, results for this year’s first nine months included a gain of $3.7 million, or 6 cents per diluted share, on the disposition of a facility which occurred as part of the Company’s ongoing program to expand and update the footprint of its facilities throughout the United States.

Operating revenue, net of fuel surcharges, improved 10.0% to $154.0 million for the third quarter of 2015 from $139.9 million for the third quarter of 2014, and improved 8.8% to $438.6 million for the first nine months of 2015 from $403.2 million for the first nine months of 2014. Reflecting substantially lower fuel surcharges in 2015, operating revenue was $171.3 million for the 2015 quarter, compared with $171.6 million for the 2014 quarter, and was $496.2 million for the 2015 nine-month period, compared with $499.4 million for the 2014 nine-month period. Fuel surcharge revenue decreased to $17.4 million for the third quarter of 2015 from $31.6 million for the 2014 quarter, and decreased to $57.6 million for the 2015 nine-month period from $96.2 million for the 2014 nine-month period.

Operating expenses as a percentage of operating revenue, with both amounts net of fuel surcharges, was 90.7% for each of the third quarters of 2015 and 2014. The ratio improved to 89.6% for the 2015 nine-month period from 91.4% for the 2014 nine-month period. Excluding both fuel surcharges and the gain on the facility disposition, the operating ratio improved to 90.4% for the first nine months of 2015.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Randolph L. Marten said, “We have continued to grow and develop our business profitably despite a soft freight market. We expanded our truckload and dedicated revenue, net of fuel surcharges, by 12.2%; our brokerage revenue by 21.3%; and our intermodal revenue, net of both fuel surcharges and revenue from our discontinued dry container service, by 23.2% in this year’s third quarter over the 2014 third quarter – all organic growth. We have increased our truckload and dedicated tractor count by 276 tractors, or 11.9%, since December 31, 2014 due to the continued growth of our dedicated operations. We believe that we are well-positioned to continue to profitably capitalize on growth opportunities within each of our transportation service platforms with our competitive position, cost control emphasis, modern fleet of tractors and trailers and strong balance sheet.”

Marten Transport, with headquarters in Mondovi, Wis., is one of the leading temperature-sensitive truckload carriers in the United States. Marten specializes in transporting and distributing food and other consumer packaged goods that require a temperature-controlled or insulated environment. Marten offers service in the United States, Canada and Mexico, concentrating on expedited movements for high-volume customers. Marten’s common stock is traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol MRTN.

Beginning with the fourth quarter of 2014, Marten Transport moved from two to four financial reporting segments. Marten now reports its operating results in Truckload, Dedicated, Intermodal and Brokerage segments instead of the previously reported Truckload and Logistics segments. The reporting of prior periods has been updated to reflect this change.

This press release contains certain statements that may be considered forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These statements by their nature involve substantial risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially from those expressed in such forward-looking statements. Important factors known to the Company that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements are discussed in Item 1A of the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014. The Company undertakes no obligation to correct or update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

CONTACTS: Tim Kohl, President, and Jim Hinnendael, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, of Marten Transport, Ltd., 715-926-4216.

MARTEN TRANSPORT, LTD.
CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED BALANCE SHEETS
(Unaudited)
     
  September 30, December 31,
(In thousands, except share information) 2015 2014
ASSETS    
Current assets:    
Cash and cash equivalents $ 145 $ 123
Receivables:    
Trade, net 70,829 72,263
Other 4,045 17,740
Prepaid expenses and other 15,803 16,860
Deferred income taxes 3,037 3,199
Total current assets 93,859 110,185
Property and equipment:    
Revenue equipment, buildings and land, office equipment and other 724,712 645,972
Accumulated depreciation (192,144) (180,223)
Net property and equipment 532,568 465,749
Other assets 3,572 3,726
Total assets $ 629,999 $ 579,660
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY    
Current liabilities:    
Checks issued in excess of cash balances $ 687 $ 745
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities 49,536 29,775
Insurance and claims accruals 14,832 13,998
Total current liabilities 65,055 44,518
Long-term debt 26,280 24,373
Deferred income taxes 122,298 122,843
Total liabilities 213,633 191,734
Stockholders’ equity:    
Preferred stock, $.01 par value per share; 2,000,000 shares authorized; no shares issued and outstanding
Common stock, $.01 par value per share; 96,000,000 shares authorized; 33,623,395 shares at September 30, 2015, and 33,418,829 shares at December 31, 2014, issued and outstanding 336 334
Additional paid-in capital 91,371 87,370
Retained earnings 324,659 300,222
Total stockholders’ equity 416,366 387,926
Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity $ 629,999 $ 579,660
     
MARTEN TRANSPORT, LTD.
CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
(Unaudited)
         
  Three Months Nine Months
  Ended September 30, Ended September 30,
(In thousands, except per share information) 2015 2014 2015 2014
         
Operating revenue $ 171,346 $ 171,550 $ 496,221 $ 499,382
         
Operating expenses (income):        
Salaries, wages and benefits 55,129 46,435 154,901 134,834
Purchased transportation 30,756 32,914 88,343 91,783
Fuel and fuel taxes 26,556 39,398 81,313 119,718
Supplies and maintenance 11,351 10,273 32,735 31,059
Depreciation 19,331 17,253 55,469 50,489
Operating taxes and licenses 2,295 1,837 6,185 5,278
Insurance and claims 7,105 6,205 21,973 18,993
Communications and utilities 1,431 1,507 4,347 4,251
Gain on disposition of revenue equipment (1,895) (1,419) (4,843) (3,360)
Gain on disposition of facility (3,712)
Other 4,933 4,105 13,684 11,723
         
Total operating expenses 156,992 158,508 450,395 464,768
         
Operating income 14,354 13,042 45,826 34,614
         
Other 126 (226) 147 (936)
         
Income before income taxes 14,228 13,268 45,679 35,550
         
Provision for income taxes 5,818 5,616 18,724 14,685
         
Net income $ 8,410 $ 7,652 $ 26,955 $ 20,865
         
Basic earnings per common share $ 0.25 $ 0.23 $ 0.80 $ 0.63
         
Diluted earnings per common share $ 0.25 $ 0.23 $ 0.80 $ 0.62
         
Dividends declared per common share $ 0.025 $ 0.025 $ 0.075 $ 0.075
         
MARTEN TRANSPORT, LTD.
SEGMENT INFORMATION
(Unaudited)
         
      Dollar Percentage
      Change Change
  Three Months Three Months  Three Months
  Ended Ended Ended
  September 30, September 30,   September 30,
(Dollars in thousands) 2015 2014 2015 vs. 2014 2015 vs. 2014
Operating revenue:        
Truckload revenue, net of fuel surcharge revenue  $ 86,594  $ 89,515  $ (2,921) (3.3)%
Truckload fuel surcharge revenue 11,777 21,821 (10,044) (46.0)
Total Truckload revenue 98,371 111,336 (12,965) (11.6)
         
Dedicated revenue, net of fuel surcharge revenue 31,477 15,756 15,721 99.8
Dedicated fuel surcharge revenue 2,937 3,995 (1,058) (26.5)
Total Dedicated revenue 34,414 19,751 14,663 74.2
         
Intermodal revenue, net of fuel surcharge revenue 17,158 19,229 (2,071) (10.8)
Intermodal fuel surcharge revenue 2,673 5,793 (3,120) (53.9)
Total Intermodal revenue 19,831 25,022 (5,191) (20.7)
         
Brokerage revenue 18,730 15,441 3,289 21.3
         
Total operating revenue  $ 171,346  $ 171,550  $ (204) (0.1)%
         
Operating income:        
Truckload  $ 8,204  $ 10,455  $ (2,251) (21.5)%
Dedicated 3,929 2,046 1,883 92.0
Intermodal 1,152 (151) 1,303 N/A
Brokerage 1,069 692 377 54.5
Total operating income  $ 14,354  $ 13,042  $ 1,312 10.1%
         
Operating ratio:        
Truckload 91.7% 90.6%    
Dedicated 88.6 89.6    
Intermodal 94.2 100.6    
Brokerage 94.3 95.5    
Consolidated operating ratio 91.6% 92.4%    
         
MARTEN TRANSPORT, LTD.
SEGMENT INFORMATION
(Unaudited)
         
      Dollar Percentage
      Change Change
  Nine Months Nine Months  Nine Months
  Ended Ended Ended
  September 30, September 30,   September 30,
(Dollars in thousands) 2015 2014 2015 vs. 2014 2015 vs. 2014
Operating revenue:        
Truckload revenue, net of fuel surcharge revenue  $ 262,227  $ 266,633  $ (4,406)     (1.7)%
Truckload fuel surcharge revenue 40,296 69,232 (28,936) (41.8)
Total Truckload revenue 302,523 335,865 (33,342) (9.9)
         
Dedicated revenue, net of fuel surcharge revenue 73,941 38,329 35,612 92.9
Dedicated fuel surcharge revenue 8,331 10,062 (1,731) (17.2)
Total Dedicated revenue 82,272 48,391 33,881 70.0
         
Intermodal revenue, net of fuel surcharge revenue 50,278 57,989 (7,711) (13.3)
Intermodal fuel surcharge revenue 8,991 16,929 (7,938) (46.9)
Total Intermodal revenue 59,269 74,918 (15,649) (20.9)
         
Brokerage revenue 52,157 40,208 11,949 29.7
         
Total operating revenue  $ 496,221  $ 499,382  $ (3,161)     (0.6)%
         
Operating income:        
Truckload  $ 27,614  $ 27,043  $ 571 2.1%
Dedicated 8,496 4,801 3,695 77.0
Intermodal 3,372 815 2,557 313.7
Brokerage 2,632 1,955 677 34.6
Total operating income before gain on disposition of facility 42,114 34,614 7,500 21.7
Gain on disposition of facility 3,712 3,712 N/A
Total operating income  $ 45,826  $ 34,614  $ 11,212 32.4%
         
Operating ratio:        
Truckload 90.9% 91.9%    
Dedicated 89.7 90.1    
Intermodal 94.3 98.9    
Brokerage 95.0 95.1    
Consolidated operating ratio before gain on disposition of facility 91.5% 93.1%    
         
Consolidated operating ratio 90.8% 93.1%    
         
MARTEN TRANSPORT, LTD.
OPERATING STATISTICS
(Unaudited)
         
  Three Months Nine Months
  Ended September 30, Ended September 30,
  2015 2014 2015 2014
Truckload Segment:        
Revenue (in thousands) $ 98,371 $ 111,336 $ 302,523 $ 335,865
Average revenue, net of fuel surcharges, per tractor per week(1) $ 3,492 $ 3,611 $ 3,573 $ 3,591
Average tractors(1) 1,887 1,886 1,882 1,904
Average miles per trip 643 674 675 678
Non-revenue miles percentage(2) 9.3% 9.6% 9.3% 9.6%
Total miles (in thousands) 45,811 49,067 141,170 149,159
         
Dedicated Segment:        
Revenue (in thousands) $ 34,414 $ 19,751 $ 82,272 $ 48,391
Average revenue, net of fuel surcharges, per tractor per week(1) $ 3,416 $ 3,267 $ 3,446 $ 3,305
Average tractors(1) 701 367 550 297
Average miles per trip 341 327 358 332
Non-revenue miles percentage(2) 1.2% 3.3% 1.6% 2.3%
Total miles (in thousands) 16,533 8,786 39,882 21,310
         
Intermodal Segment:        
Revenue (in thousands) $ 19,831 $ 25,022 $ 59,269 $ 74,918
Loads 9,531 11,677 27,765 34,232
Average tractors 86 116 91 112
         
Brokerage Segment:        
Revenue (in thousands) $ 18,730 $ 15,441 $ 52,157 $ 40,208
Loads 13,208 9,679 34,832 25,998
         
At September 30, 2015 and September 30, 2014:        
Total tractors(1) 2,685 2,363    
Average age of company tractors (in years) 1.5 1.7    
Total trailers 4,511 4,236    
Average age of company trailers (in years) 2.6 2.5    
Ratio of trailers to tractors(1) 1.7 1.8    
         
  Three Months Nine Months
  Ended September 30, Ended September 30,
(In thousands) 2015 2014 2015 2014
         
Net cash provided by operating activities $ 29,646 $ 17,688 $ 101,422 $ 58,383
Net cash used for investing activities 60,191 25,670 103,526 95,203
         
Weighted average shares outstanding:        
Basic 33,622 33,403 33,555 33,371
Diluted 33,846 33,692 33,816 33,672
         
(1) Includes tractors driven by both company-employed drivers and independent contractors. Independent contractors provided 64 and 57 tractors as of September 30, 2015, and 2014, respectively.
         
(2) Represents the percentage of miles for which the company is not compensated.