jumped 17% after nearly doubling first-quarter earnings.
The company earned $37.5 million, or 50 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $19.4 million, or 26 cents a share, a year ago. Excluding items, earnings were 45 cents a share in the quarter. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 25 cents a share in the quarter.
First-quarter revenue rose 2.7% from a year ago to $763 million as against the analysts' expectations of $802.5 million.
Fuel surcharge revenue in the quarter rose 49% to $99.1 million. Excluding this fuel surcharge revenue, operating revenue fell 1.8%. The drop was primarily due to the reduction in average linehaul tractors. Operating margin in the most recent quarter rose sharply to 8.7%, compared with 4.2% a year ago. Swift Transportation also said revenue per tractor per week rose 4.9% to $2,991 this quarter compared with the period a year ago.
However, the company cautioned that the investors should not expect similar growth in profit in the subsequent quarters.
"While we are delighted with this quarter's progress and results, the process to return our company to profitability levels we once enjoyed is a journey," the company said. "We intend to continue on the course we have set, focused on bottom line growth through improvement in utilization, rate and cost control."
The company's stock jumped $4.38 to $29.63.
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