J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc., (NASDAQ:JBHT) announced third quarter 2012 net earnings of $78.2 million, or diluted earnings per share of 65 cents vs. third quarter 2011 net earnings of $68.7 million, or 57 cents per diluted share. Total operating revenue for the current quarter was $1.3 billion, compared with $1.17 billion for the third quarter 2011. Load growth of 15% in Intermodal (JBI) and 38% in Integrated Capacity Solutions (ICS) helped drive 15% and 30% increases in segment revenue, respectively. Dedicated Contract Services (DCS) segment increased operating revenue by only 1% primarily driven by the start up of new accounts occurring later than expected, while Truck (JBT) segment revenue declined primarily due to operating approximately 9% fewer trucks. Current quarter total operating revenue, excluding fuel surcharges, increased 10.5% vs. the comparable quarter 2011. Operating income for the current quarter totaled $133 million vs. $119 million for the third quarter 2011, as positive results from load growth and improved network balance in JBI and load growth in ICS were partially offset by cost pressures experienced in DCS and JBT. Net earnings rose 14% to $78.2 million in the current quarter from $68.7 million in 2011, primarily due to the growth of revenue, slightly less interest expense and a slightly lower tax rate. The effective income tax rate for the quarter was in 38.25% in 2012 and 38.5% in 2011. Segment Information:Intermodal (JBI)
Third Quarter 2012 Segment Revenue:$794 million; up 15%
Third Quarter 2012 Operating Income:$97.9 million; up 25%
JBI segment revenue grew 15% on load volume that increased a similar 15% over the third quarter of 2011. Eastern network load growth and transcontinental load growth were 22% and 11%, respectively, primarily from the continued customer conversion of highway traffic to intermodal. The combination of traffic mix, customer rate increases and changes in fuel surcharges kept revenue per load virtually flat compared to a year ago.