MONDOVI, Wis., April 15, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Marten Transport, Ltd. (Nasdaq:MRTN) today reported net income of $5.3 million, or 16 cents per diluted share, in the first quarter ended March 31, 2014, compared with $7.2 million, or 22 cents per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2013.
Operating revenue, consisting of revenue from truckload and logistics operations, decreased to $159.4 million in the first quarter of 2014 from $164.5 million in the first quarter of 2013. Operating revenue, net of fuel surcharges and MW Logistics, LLC (MWL) revenue, improved 1.2% to $127.5 million in the 2014 quarter from $126.0 million in the 2013 quarter. Fuel surcharge revenue increased to $31.9 million in the first quarter of 2014 from $31.7 million in the 2013 quarter. With the March 2013 deconsolidation of MWL, no MWL revenue was included in the first quarter of 2014 compared with $6.7 million in the 2013 quarter.
Operating expenses as a percentage of operating revenue, with both amounts net of fuel surcharge revenue, increased to 93.2% in the first quarter of 2014 from 90.6% in the first quarter of 2013. A reduction in the gain on disposition of revenue equipment and an increase in supplies and maintenance compared with the first quarter of 2013 increased the 2014 ratio by 210 basis points."Our results reflect the impact of the severe weather conditions that greatly hindered each of our operating segments in this year's first quarter," said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Randolph L. Marten. "The conditions were unusually harsh and widespread, significantly affecting both freight volumes and operating costs." "However, we are better positioned than ever for the remainder of 2014 and beyond based on the current freight environment and the continued improvements we are driving in freight network efficiencies within our diverse service infrastructure. As evidence of this, despite tough conditions we still increased our tractor utilization and improved our revenue per tractor 3.9% over the first quarter of 2013."