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J.B.Hunt Bests Estimates

Company gets a boost from intermodal and DCS segments.

Transportation service provider

J.B. Hunt Transport Services

(JBHT) - Get J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. (JBHT) Report

said its third-quarter earnings rose 45% on the back of good results from the intermodal and DCS segments, which more than offset lower operating income from the truck segment.

The company earned $57.83 million, or 39 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $39.84 million, or 25 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 37 cents a share in the most recent quarter.

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Third-quarter operating revenue rose 7% to $858.27 million, primarily due to growth in the fleet from 11,752 trucks in the third quarter of 2005 to 12,106 in the third quarter this year.

Freight rates and fuel surcharges were also higher compared with the year-ago period, the Lowell, Ark.-based company said.

Third-quarter operating income for the intermodal segment was $46.4 million, up 18% from the previous year, while operating income from the truck segment was down 11% to $24.1 million.

"Despite moderating demand in the freight sectors that are particularly sensitive to interest rates, such as residential construction and autos, our business continues to produce strong returns and excellent cash flow", the company said.

The stock was trading down 55 cents, or 2.4%, at $22.11 Friday.

This story was created through a joint venture between TheStreet.com and IRIS.