J.B. Hunt Profit Rises

The stock rises 5%.
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J.B.Hunt Transport Services

(JBHT) - Get Report

rose 5% Monday after posting solid first-quarter numbers.

The company earned $49 million, or 31 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $47 million, or 29 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 31 cents a share in the most recent quarter.

First-quarter revenue rose 10% to $780 million. Analysts were expecting revenue of $788.6 million.

Operating profit grew 2.8% to $81.4 million. The overall operating ratio, or operating expense divided by net sales, was 89.6% compared to 88.8% in 2005.

The operating ratio for the intermodal segment for the first quarter was 88.9% compared to 88.0% for the same quarter a year ago. The operating ratio for the dedicated contract services segment was 89.2% compared to 89.7% a year ago. The truck operating ratio was 91.1% compared to 89.5% a year ago.

"Barring a downturn in the economy, something current forecasts are not suggesting, we would expect the remainder of 2006 to mirror the recent past and to continue to reflect demand outpacing supply. The first quarter, while a little shy on the Truck side, met our internal overall profitability expectations created in the fall of 2005 and we remain confident in our ability to grow our earnings for the balance of 2006," the company said.

J.B. Hunt shares added $1.14 to $22.64.

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