The stock price at last check was 2.4% lower at $116.88 after the Lowell, Ark., trucking and logistics company reported fourth-quarter earnings of $144.7 million, or $1.35 a share, compared with $88.7 million, or 81 cents, in the year-earlier quarter.
The year-earlier earnings reflected charges related to an arbitration.
Analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research had expected earnings of $1.52 a share in the latest quarter. It was third time in the past four quarters that J.B. Hunt delivered a negative earnings surprise.
The company reported quarterly revenue of $2.45 billion, up from $2.32 billion a year earlier but 0.16% below the $2.454 billion estimate of analysts polled by Zacks.
J.B. Hunt reported a less than 1% increase in intermodal revenue -- shipping containers by truck and railroad. While the trucking company reported a 2% increase in load volume, lower revenue per load partly offset those gains, J.B. Hunt reported.
While J.B. Hunt saw an increase in shipping volume, a number of factors weighed on the bottom line.
Higher rail rates and a spike in costs as the company scrambled to keep freight moving amid "rail-service disruptions," including a derailment in Southern California, were factors.
J.B. Hunt said its labor costs also increased during the quarter as it was forced to spend more to recruit and retain drivers.
At last check J.B. Hunt shares were trading off 3.6% at $115.43. They've traded off as much as 5.6% at just above $113 on Friday. They set a 52-week high above $122 in November.