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Covenant Transportation Group Announces First Quarter Financial And Operating Results

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn., April 24, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Covenant Transportation Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:CVTI) announced today financial and operating results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2013.

Highlights for the quarter included the following:

  • Total revenue of $164.7 million, an increase of 4.9% compared with the first quarter of 2012;
  • Freight revenue of $129.1 million (excludes revenue from fuel surcharges), an increase of 5.9% compared with the first quarter of 2012;
  • Operating loss of $0.7 million and an operating ratio of 100.6%, compared with operating income of $2.4 million and an operating ratio of 98.1% in the first quarter of 2012;
  • Net loss of $2.0 million, or ($0.13) per share, compared with net loss of $0.6 million, or ($0.04) per share in the first quarter of 2012; and
  • Gains on sale included $0.7 million from revenue equipment in the 2013 quarter compared with $2.4 million from the sale of a terminal real estate property and $0.6 million from revenue equipment in the 2012 quarter. Gains on sale are reflected as a reduction of depreciation and amortization on our statement of operations.

Management Discussion—Asset-Based Operations

Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer, David R. Parker, made the following comments: "We experienced an uneven operating environment in the first quarter as January freight was strong, followed by average demand but difficult weather conditions in February, and a March that started off well, but finished weaker than expected. In addition, the first quarter of 2013 basically had two fewer business days than the prior period, due to leap year in 2012 and an early Easter in 2013. Despite the business, weather, and calendar headwinds, operating results were comparable to last year's first quarter, excluding the $2.4 million gain on sale of a terminal in the 2012 quarter. During the quarter, we continued to improve asset productivity by allocating assets to our refrigerated and team operations, reducing exposure to solo dry van operations, and improving our drivers' employment experience. These factors contributed to a 7.6% increase in average freight revenue per tractor compared with the first quarter of 2012, which nearly covered our year-over-year operating cost increases. Our asset-based operating ratio was 100.4% compared with 100.1%, excluding the $2.4 million gain on sale of a terminal, in the 2012 quarter.

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