Forward Air Corporation Reports Fourth Quarter And Fiscal 2011 Results And Announces Quarterly Cash Dividend

Forward Air Corporation (NASDAQ:FWRD) today reported results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2011.

Operating revenue for the quarter ended December 31, 2011 increased 11.2% to $148.2 million from $133.3 million for the same quarter in 2010. Income from operations was $23.6 million, compared with $18.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2010, an increase of 26.2%. As a percent of operating revenue, income from operations increased to 15.9% for the fourth quarter of 2011 from 14.0% in the same quarter of 2010. Net income per diluted share for the fourth quarter of 2011 was $0.50 compared with $0.41 in the same quarter of 2010, an increase of 22.0%.

Operating revenue for the year ended December 31, 2011 increased 10.8% to $536.4 million from $483.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2010. Income from operations was $77.1 million, compared with $53.7 million in 2010. The Company's net income for the year ended December 31, 2011, was $47.2 million, compared with $32.0 million in 2010. Net income per diluted share for the year ended December 31, 2011 was $1.60 compared with $1.10 in 2010.

Bruce A. Campbell, Chairman, President and CEO, said, “We are pleased to announce that a solid fourth quarter completed a record breaking performance year for 2011. Strong demand for our service offerings produced record breaking operating revenue, operating income and earnings per share. While not a record, our 85.6% operating ratio for 2011 was an impressive 330 basis points improvement over 2010.”

Commenting further, Mr. Campbell said, “With the benefit of the Forward Air business model, which continues to exhibit ample operating leverage, a solid pricing environment and current inventory and shipping trends that favor our expedited time-definite service offerings, our team is anxious to deliver even better results to our shareholders in 2012.”

In closing, Mr. Campbell said, “As always, I would like to acknowledge our employees and independent contractors whose hard work and dedication were critical in producing these outstanding results.”

In commenting further on the quarter, Rodney L. Bell, Senior Vice President and CFO said, “We ended 2011 with cash on hand of $58.8 million. In anticipation of entering into a new credit facility subsequent to year end we used $50 million of our cash reserves to pay off our previous line of credit borrowings. During February 2012, we will finalize our new credit facility. The new credit facility will have a five year term with an initial borrowing capacity of $150 million. This availability to credit, along with our continued ability to generate strong cash flows, will provide flexibility as we evaluate possible acquisition and other opportunities in the new year.”

In commenting on the Company's guidance for the first quarter, Mr. Bell said, “We anticipate our first quarter 2012 revenues will increase in the range of 8% to 12% over the comparable 2011 period, and we expect income per diluted share to be between $0.31 and $0.35 per share. This compares to $0.27 per share in the first quarter of 2011.”

On February 7, 2012, our Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.07 per share of common stock. The dividend is payable to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 8, 2012, and is expected to be paid on March 23, 2012.

This quarterly dividend is pursuant to a cash dividend policy approved by the Board of Directors, which anticipates a total annual dividend of $0.28 per share of common stock, payable in quarterly increments of $0.07 per share of common stock. The actual declaration of future cash dividends, and the establishment of record and payment dates, is subject to final determination by the Board of Directors each quarter after its review of the Company's financial performance.

Review of Financial Results

Forward Air will hold a conference call to discuss fourth quarter and year end 2011 results on Wednesday, February 8, 2012 at 9:00 a.m. EST. The Company's conference call will be available online at www.forwardair.com or by dialing 800-230-1085. A replay of the conference call will be available at www.forwardair.com beginning shortly after the completion of the live call.

About Forward Air Corporation

Forward Air Corporation operates two business segments, Forward Air, Inc. and Forward Air Solutions, Inc.

Forward Air, Inc. is a high-service-level contractor to the air cargo industry providing time-definite ground transportation services through a network of terminals located on or near major airports in 85 cities in the United States and Canada. It provides these services as a cost-effective alternative to air transportation of cargo that must be delivered at a specific time but is relatively less time-sensitive than traditional air freight or when air transportation is not economical.

Forward Air Solutions, Inc. is a provider of pool distribution services. Pool distribution involves the consolidation and shipment of several smaller less-than-truckload shipments to a common area or region. Once at the regional destination, the loads are deconsolidated, then grouped with other shipments with common delivery points, and delivered in a very precise, time-sensitive manner. Our pool distribution network consists of terminals and service locations in 19 cities within the Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Midwest and Southwestern United States.
 
Forward Air Corporation
Consolidated Statements of Income
(In thousands, except per share data)
(Unaudited)
 
    Three months ended     Year ended

December 31,2011
   

December 31,2010

December 31,2011
   

December 31,2010
Operating revenue:
Forward Air
Airport-to-airport $ 95,024 $ 87,245 $ 361,630 $ 321,702
Logistics 21,485 17,147 74,394 64,935
Other 7,116 6,386 27,640 25,130
Forward Air Solutions
Pool distribution   24,634     22,532     72,738     72,172  
Total operating revenue 148,259 133,310 536,402 483,939
 
Operating expenses:
Purchased transportation
Forward Air
Airport-to-airport 38,294 34,959 142,705 129,111
Logistics 16,045 13,445 56,259 50,225
Other 1,752 1,476 6,681 6,288
Forward Air Solutions
Pool distribution   6,288     5,123     17,355     15,747  
Total purchased transportation 62,379 55,003 223,000 201,371
Salaries, wages and employee benefits 35,315 33,426 130,651 129,108
Operating leases 7,039 6,864 27,122 26,252
Depreciation and amortization 5,259 5,167 20,993 20,450
Insurance and claims 2,658 2,442 8,798 8,425
Fuel expense 2,683 2,409 10,041 8,461
Other operating expenses   9,297     9,321     38,687     36,133  
Total operating expenses   124,630     114,632     459,292     430,200  
Income from operations 23,629 18,678 77,110 53,739
 
Other income (expense):
Interest expense (151 ) (173 ) (619 ) (730 )
Other, net   16     53     74     90  
Total other expense   (135 )   (120 )   (545 )   (640 )
Income before income taxes 23,494 18,558 76,565 53,099
Income taxes   9,045     6,741     29,366     21,063  
Net income $ 14,449   $ 11,817   $ 47,199   $ 32,036  
 
Net income per share:
Basic $ 0.51   $ 0.41   $ 1.62   $ 1.11  
Diluted $ 0.50   $ 0.41   $ 1.60   $ 1.10  
Weighted average shares outstanding:
Basic 28,502 29,010 29,052 28,984
Diluted 28,968 29,174 29,435 29,111
 
Dividends per share: $ 0.07   $ 0.07   $ 0.28   $ 0.28  
 
 
Forward Air Corporation
Consolidated Balance Sheets
(In thousands)
(Unaudited)
 
   

December 31,2011
   

December 31,2010 (a)
Assets
Current assets:
Cash and cash equivalents $ 58,801 $ 74,504
Accounts receivable, net 70,922 62,763
Other current assets   9,994   8,696
Total current assets 139,717 145,963
 
Property and equipment 223,135 213,704
Less accumulated depreciation and amortization   93,267   87,272
Net property and equipment 129,868 126,432
Goodwill and other acquired intangibles:
Goodwill 43,332 43,332
Other acquired intangibles, net of accumulated amortization   26,668   31,259
Total net goodwill and other acquired intangibles 70,000 74,591
Other assets   1,566   1,810
Total assets $ 341,151 $ 348,796
 
 
Liabilities and Shareholders’ Equity
Current liabilities:
Accounts payable $ 12,392 $ 10,687

Accrued expenses
20,986 16,280
Current portion of debt and capital lease obligations   552   638
Total current liabilities 33,930 27,605
 
Debt and capital lease obligations, less current portion 333 50,883
Other long-term liabilities 8,860 8,106
Deferred income taxes 11,126 6,116
Commitments and contingencies
Shareholders’ equity:
Common stock 285 290
Additional paid-in capital 16,121 24,300
Retained earnings   270,496   231,496
Total shareholders’ equity   286,902   256,086
Total liabilities and shareholders’ equity $ 341,151 $ 348,796
 
(a) Taken from audited financial statements, which are not presented in their entirety.
 
 
Forward Air Corporation
Condensed Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
(In thousands)
(Unaudited)
 
    Three months ended

December 31,2011
   

December 31,2010
Operating activities:
Net income $ 14,449 $ 11,817
Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating activities
Depreciation and amortization 5,259 5,167
Share-based compensation 1,514 1,397
(Gain) loss on disposal of property and equipment (6 ) 78
Provision for recovery on receivables (234 ) (254 )
Provision for revenue adjustments 471 127
Deferred income taxes (931 ) 3,060
Tax benefit for stock options exercised (515 ) (166 )
Changes in operating assets and liabilities
Accounts receivable (1,585 ) (198 )
Prepaid expenses and other current assets 71 989
Accounts payable and accrued expenses   3,636     (5,883 )
Net cash provided by operating activities 22,129 16,134
 
Investing activities:
Proceeds from disposal of property and equipment 270 69
Purchases of property and equipment (924 ) (3,259 )
Other   (38 )   (224 )
Net cash used in investing activities (692 ) (3,414 )
 
Financing activities:
Payments of debt and capital lease obligations (149 ) (173 )
Payments on line of credit (50,000 )
Proceeds from exercise of stock options 3,225 501
Payments of cash dividends (2,007 ) (2,033 )
Repurchase of common stock (repurchase program) (1,807 )
Common stock issued under employee stock purchase plan 120 104
Tax benefit for stock options exercised   515     166  
Net cash used in financing activities   (50,103 )   (1,435 )
Net (decrease) increase in cash (28,666 ) 11,285
Cash at beginning of period   87,467     63,219  
Cash at end of period $ 58,801   $ 74,504  
 
 
Forward Air Corporation
Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
(In thousands)
(Unaudited)
 
    Year ended

December 31,2011
   

December 31,2010
Operating activities:
Net income $ 47,199 $ 32,036
Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating activities
Depreciation and amortization 20,993 20,450
Share-based compensation 5,971 6,284
Gain on disposal of property and equipment (82 ) (570 )
Provision for recovery on receivables (217 ) (52 )
Provision for revenue adjustments 1,951 1,589
Deferred income taxes 5,148 1,436

Tax benefit for stock options exercised
(747 ) (194 )
Changes in operating assets and liabilities
Accounts receivable (9,893 ) (8,580 )
Prepaid expenses and other current assets (1,757 ) (40 )
Accounts payable and accrued expenses 8,393 3,022
Income taxes       (1,386 )
Net cash provided by operating activities 76,959 53,995
 
Investing activities:
Proceeds from disposal of property and equipment 1,267 1,482
Purchases of property and equipment (21,216 ) (15,148 )
Other   278     (224 )
Net cash used in investing activities (19,671 ) (13,890 )
 
Financing activities:
Payments of debt and capital lease obligations (637 ) (895 )
Payments on line of credit (50,000 )
Proceeds from exercise of stock options 10,946 991
Payments of cash dividends (8,194 ) (8,121 )
Repurchase of common stock (repurchase program) (26,101 )
Common stock issued under employee stock purchase plan 248 195
Tax benefit for stock options exercised   747     194  
Net cash used in financing activities   (72,991 )   (7,636 )
Net (decrease) increase in cash (15,703 ) 32,469
Cash at beginning of year   74,504     42,035  
Cash at end of year $ 58,801   $ 74,504  
 
 
Forward Air Corporation
Segment Information
(In millions)
(Unaudited)
 
    Three months ended

December 31,2011
    Percent of    

December 31,2010
    Percent of         Percent
Revenue Revenue Change Change
Operating revenue
Forward Air $ 123.9 83.6 % $ 111.1 83.3 % $ 12.8 11.5 %
FASI 24.8 16.7 22.6 17.0 2.2 9.7
Intercompany eliminations   (0.5 ) (0.3 )   (0.4 ) (0.3 )   (0.1 ) 25.0  
Total   148.2   100.0     133.3   100.0     14.9   11.2  
 
Purchased transportation
Forward Air 56.3 45.4 49.9 44.9 6.4 12.8
FASI 6.5 26.2 5.5 24.3 1.0 18.2
Intercompany eliminations   (0.4 ) 80.0     (0.4 ) 100.0        
Total   62.4   42.1     55.0   41.3     7.4   13.5  
 
Salaries, wages and employee benefits
Forward Air 26.2 21.1 24.9 22.4 1.3 5.2
FASI   9.1   36.7     8.5   37.6     0.6   7.1  
Total   35.3   23.8     33.4   25.0     1.9   5.7  
 
Operating leases
Forward Air 4.9 4.0 5.0 4.5 (0.1 ) (2.0 )
FASI   2.1   8.5     1.9   8.4     0.2   10.5  
Total   7.0   4.7     6.9   5.2     0.1   1.4  
 
Depreciation and amortization
Forward Air 4.2 3.4 4.2 3.8
FASI   1.1   4.4     1.0   4.4     0.1   10.0  
Total   5.3   3.6     5.2   3.9     0.1   1.9  
 
Insurance and claims
Forward Air 2.3 1.9 1.6 1.4 0.7 43.8
FASI   0.3   1.2     0.8   3.6     (0.5 ) (62.5 )
Total   2.6   1.8     2.4   1.8     0.2   8.3  
 
Fuel expense
Forward Air 1.1 0.9 1.0 0.9 0.1 10.0
FASI   1.6   6.4     1.4   6.2     0.2   14.3  
Total   2.7   1.8     2.4   1.8     0.3   12.5  
 
Other operating expenses
Forward Air 7.7 6.2 7.6 6.9 0.1 1.3
FASI 1.7 6.9 1.7 7.5
Intercompany eliminations   (0.1 ) 20.0           (0.1 ) 100.0  
Total   9.3   6.3     9.3   7.0        
 
Income from operations
Forward Air 21.2 17.1 16.9 15.2 4.3 25.4
FASI   2.4   9.7     1.8   8.0     0.6   33.3  
Total $ 23.6   15.9 % $ 18.7   14.0 % $ 4.9   26.2 %
 
 
Forward Air Corporation
Segment Information
(In millions)
(Unaudited)
 
    Year ended

December 31,2011
   

Percent of
   

December 31,2010
    Percent of         Percent
Revenue Revenue Change Change
Operating revenue
Forward Air $ 464.5 86.6 % $ 412.9 85.3 % $ 51.6 12.5 %
FASI 73.2 13.6 72.5 15.0 0.7 1.0

Intercompany eliminations
  (1.3 ) (0.2 )   (1.5 ) (0.3 )   0.2   (13.3 )
Total   536.4   100.0     483.9   100.0     52.5   10.8  
 
Purchased transportation
Forward Air 206.0 44.4 185.8 45.0 20.2 10.9
FASI 18.2 24.9 16.9 23.3 1.3 7.7

Intercompany eliminations
  (1.2 ) 92.3     (1.3 ) 86.7     0.1   (7.7 )
Total   223.0   41.6     201.4   41.6     21.6   10.7  
 
Salaries, wages and employee benefits
Forward Air 101.3 21.8 98.3 23.8 3.0 3.1
FASI   29.4   40.2     30.8   42.5     (1.4 ) (4.5 )
Total   130.7   24.4     129.1   26.7     1.6   1.2  
 
Operating leases
Forward Air 19.7 4.2 18.6 4.5 1.1 5.9
FASI   7.4   10.1     7.7   10.6     (0.3 ) (3.9 )
Total   27.1   5.0     26.3   5.4     0.8   3.0  
 
Depreciation and amortization
Forward Air 16.8 3.6 16.5 4.0 0.3 1.8
FASI   4.2   5.7     3.9   5.4     0.3   7.7  
Total   21.0   3.9     20.4   4.2     0.6   2.9  
 
Insurance and claims
Forward Air 7.2 1.6 6.2 1.5 1.0 16.1
FASI   1.6   2.2     2.2   3.0     (0.6 ) (27.3 )
Total   8.8   1.6     8.4   1.7     0.4   4.8  
 
Fuel expense
Forward Air 4.4 0.9 3.8 0.9 0.6 15.8
FASI   5.6   7.6     4.7   6.5     0.9   19.1  
Total   10.0   1.9     8.5   1.8     1.5   17.6  
 
Other operating expenses
Forward Air 32.6 7.0 29.8 7.2 2.8 9.4
FASI 6.2 8.5 6.5 9.0 (0.3 ) (4.6 )

Intercompany eliminations
  (0.1 ) 7.7     (0.2 ) 13.3     0.1   (50.0 )
Total   38.7   7.2     36.1   7.5     2.6   7.2  
 
Income (loss) from operations
Forward Air 76.5 16.5 53.9 13.1 22.6 41.9
FASI   0.6   0.8     (0.2 ) (0.3 )   0.8   (400.0 )
Total $ 77.1   14.4 % $ 53.7   11.1 % $ 23.4   43.6 %
 
 
Forward Air Corporation
Forward Air Inc. Operating Statistics
 
    Three months ended
December 31,     December 31,     Percent
2011 2010 Change
 
Operating ratio 82.9 % 84.8 % (2.2 )%
 
Business days 63.0 63.0
Business weeks 12.6 12.6
 
 
Airport-to-airport:
Tonnage
Total pounds ¹ 458,773 437,977 4.7
Average weekly pounds ¹ 36,411 34,760 4.7
 
Linehaul shipments
Total linehaul 649,152 623,211 4.2
Average weekly 51,520 49,461 4.2
 
Forward Air Complete shipments 104,143 85,917 21.2
As a percentage of linehaul shipments 16.0 % 13.8 % 15.9
 
Average linehaul shipment size 707 703 0.6
 
Revenue per pound ²
Linehaul yield $ 16.83 $ 16.70 0.6
Fuel surcharge impact 1.67 1.28 2.0
Forward Air Complete impact   2.25     1.97   1.4  
Total airport-to-airport yield $ 20.75 $ 19.95 4.0
 
 
Logistics:
Miles
Owner operator ¹ 8,472 7,179 18.0
Third party ¹   4,093     3,617   13.2  
Total Miles 12,565 10,796 16.4
 
Revenue per mile $ 1.71 $ 1.61 6.2
 
Cost per mile $ 1.28 $ 1.25 2.4 %
 
¹ - In thousands
² - In cents per pound; percentage change is expressed as a percent of total yield.
 
 
Forward Air Corporation
Forward Air Inc. Operating Statistics
 
    Year ended
December 31,     December 31,     Percent
2011 2010 Change
 
Operating ratio 83.5 % 86.9 % (3.9 )%
 
Business days 255.0 254.0 0.4
Business weeks 51.0 50.8 0.4
 
 
Airport-to-airport:
Tonnage
Total pounds ¹ 1,735,409 1,655,075 4.9
Average weekly pounds ¹ 34,028 32,580 4.4
 
Linehaul shipments
Total linehaul 2,419,350 2,308,468 4.8
Average weekly 47,438 45,442 4.4
 
Forward Air Complete shipments 374,116 314,203 19.1
As a percentage of linehaul shipments 15.5 % 13.6 % 14.0
 
Average linehaul shipment size 717 717
 
Revenue per pound ²
Linehaul yield $ 16.80 $ 16.40 2.1
Fuel surcharge impact 1.80 1.21 3.0
Forward Air Complete impact   2.27     1.86   2.1  
Total airport-to-airport yield $ 20.87 $ 19.47 7.2
 
 
Logistics:
Miles
Owner operator ¹ 30,885 27,086 14.0
Third party ¹   13,798     12,943   6.6  
Total Miles 44,683 40,029 11.6
 
Revenue per mile $ 1.67 $ 1.64 1.8
 
Cost per mile $ 1.26 $ 1.25 0.8 %
 
¹ - In thousands
² - In cents per pound; percentage change is expressed as a percent of total yield.
 

Important Information

This press release contains “forward-looking statements,” as defined in Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements are statements other than historical information or statements of current condition and relate to future events or our future financial performance. Some forward-looking statements may be identified by use of such terms as “believes,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “plans,” “estimates,” “projects” or “expects.” Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. The following is a list of factors, among others, that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements: economic factors such as recessions, inflation, higher interest rates and downturns in customer business cycles, our inability to maintain our historical growth rate because of a decreased volume of freight moving through our network or decreased average revenue per pound of freight moving through our network, increasing competition and pricing pressure, surplus inventories, loss of a major customer, the creditworthiness of our customers and their ability to pay for services rendered, our ability to secure terminal facilities in desirable locations at reasonable rates, the inability of our information systems to handle an increased volume of freight moving through our network, changes in fuel prices, claims for property damage, personal injuries or workers' compensation, employment matters including rising health care costs, enforcement of and changes in governmental regulations, environmental and tax matters, the handling of hazardous materials, the availability and compensation of qualified independent owner-operators and freight handlers needed to serve our transportation needs and our inability to successfully integrate acquisitions. As a result of the foregoing, no assurance can be given as to future financial condition, cash flows or results of operations. We undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Copyright Business Wire 2010

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