NORTH LIBERTY, Iowa, April 23, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Heartland Express, Inc. (Nasdaq:HTLD) announced today financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2014.
Heartland Express ended the first quarter of 2014 with record operating revenues of $224.5 million, a net income of $14.1 million, and $0.16 earnings per share. Operating revenues increased 67.2% primarily due to the November 11, 2013 acquisition of Gordon Trucking, Inc. ("GTI"). Operating revenues for the quarter included fuel surcharge revenues of $45.9 million compared to $28.0 million in the same period of 2013. Operating income for the three-month period was positively impacted by a $1.4 million reduction in depreciation expense attributable to changing to the 125% declining balance method in the third quarter of 2013 and was negatively impacted by a $9.1 million decrease in gains on disposal of property and equipment. The Company posted an operating ratio (operating expenses as a percentage of operating revenues) of 90.8% and a 6.3% net margin (net income as a percentage of operating revenues) in the first quarter of 2014.Fleet utilization and operating results for the quarter were negatively impacted by severe winter weather across the eastern half of the U.S. The Company continues to be challenged by the impact of government hours-of-service regulations including the thirty-four hour restart and a thirty minute break within the first eight hours of driving that were effective July 1, 2013. Balance Sheet, Liquidity, and Capital Expenditures At March 31, 2014, the Company had $16.9 million in cash balances and $62.0 million in borrowings under the Company's $250 million unsecured line of credit. Borrowings under the line of credit bore interest at a weighted average interest rate of 0.78%. The Company had $182.5 million in available borrowing capacity on the line of credit at March 31, 2014, after consideration of outstanding letters of credit, and was in compliance with associated financial covenants. The Company's debt balance decreased $13.0 million from December 31, 2013 due to net repayments during the quarter on the Company's line of credit. The Company ended the quarter with total assets of $723.7 million, net debt (total borrowing less cash on hand) of $45.1 million, and a net debt to total capitalization ratio of approximately 9.9%.