MONDOVI, Wis., Oct. 19, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Marten Transport, Ltd. (Nasdaq:MRTN) today reported a 57.9% increase in net income to $5.5 million, or 25 cents per diluted share, for the third quarter ended September 30, 2010, from $3.5 million, or 16 cents per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2009. The third-quarter earnings also improved sequentially from 2010 second-quarter net income of $5.2 million, or 23 cents per diluted share. For the nine-month period of 2010, net income increased to $14.5 million, or 66 cents per diluted share, compared with $12.0 million, or 55 cents per diluted share, for the same nine-month period of 2009.
Operating revenue, consisting of revenue from truckload and logistics operations, was $128.7 million in the third quarter of 2010 compared with $129.4 million in the 2009 quarter. Operating revenue increased to $380.3 million in the nine-month period of 2010 from $377.2 million in the first nine months of 2009. Operating revenue, net of fuel surcharges, decreased 3.4% to $109.8 million in the 2010 quarter from $113.7 million in the 2009 quarter and decreased 3.8% to $325.2 million in the 2010 nine-month period from $338.1 million in the 2009 nine-month period. Operating revenue included fuel surcharges of $18.8 million for the third quarter of 2010, compared with $15.7 million in the 2009 quarter and $55.1 million for the 2010 nine-month period, compared with $39.1 million for the 2009 nine-month period.
Operating expenses as a percentage of operating revenue, with both amounts net of fuel surcharge revenue, improved to 90.9% for the third quarter of 2010 from 94.3% for the third quarter of 2009 and improved to 91.9% for the 2010 nine-month period from 93.7% for the 2009 nine-month period.Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Randolph L. Marten said, "We continue to be encouraged by our increased profitability. Our transformation into a multi-faceted business model -- the growth of our logistics business and focus on expansion of our regional operations throughout the country -- continues to drive positive results.