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Con-way Profit Drops

The freight company's guidance falls short of estimates.



posted third-quarter earnings that beat its lowered forecast, but the freight trucker's results were still weaker than a year earlier amid lower truckload volumes.

The San Mateo, Calif., company's net income fell to $64.8 million from $67.8 million a year earlier. Per-share earnings, which include the effect of preferred dividends, rose to $1.24 from $1.18 due to fewer shares outstanding.

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The results included a gain of $6.2 million, or 8 cents a share, from the sale of its Con-way Expedite business. Even without the gain, the earnings still beat Thomson First Call's average analyst target of $1.07 a share -- but that was a lowered forecast.

Last month, Con-way slashed its profit projections for the quarter amid lighter-than-expected volume in its less-than-truckload business. At the time, the company forecast earnings of $1.10 to $1.15 a share, below its initial guidance of $1.21 to $1.29 a share.

Con-way's revenue declined slightly to $1.076 billion from $1.084 billion a year earlier, coming in shy of analysts' forecast of $1.1 billion.

The company reiterated that its less-than-truckload volumes were restrained, while it didn't see tonnage growth typical of the traditional third-quarter pick-up.

For the fourth quarter, Con-way forecast earnings from continuing operations of 81 cents to 87 cents a share, below analysts' projection of 97 cents.