Yellow Roadway

(YELL)

posted first-quarter earnings Thursday that topped Wall Street estimates, and said its profit in the current period is also likely to be stronger than expected.

The trucking company earned $49.9 million, or 96 cents a share, in the quarter, including a gain of 4 cents a share from property sales. In the year-ago quarter, it earned $18.2 million, or 38 cents a share. Analysts had been expecting earnings of 91 cents a share in the latest quarter, excluding the charge.

Revenue rose to $1.68 billion in the 2005 quarter compared with $1.55 billion a year ago.

Yellow, which acquired Roadway in early 2004 and is in the process of acquiring

USF Corp.

(USFC)

, said the first-quarter performance reflected "strong and sustained performance of all of our operating companies, supported by a good economy, cost synergies and firm pricing."

For the second quarter, Yellow expects to earn $1.25 to $1.35 a share, compared with a consensus estimate compiled by Thomson First Call of $1.24 a share. For 2005, the company expects to report earnings of $5.10 to $5.30 a share. Analysts were forecasting $5.24 a share.

The stock closed at $51.81 in regular trading, up nearly 4% amid a broad rally for stocks. In after-hours trading, the shares were down 31 cents to $51.50.