MONDOVI, Wis., Jan. 25, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Marten Transport, Ltd. (Nasdaq/GS:MRTN) today reported net income of $65.1 million, or $1.18 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2017 - results that include a deferred income taxes benefit of $56.5 million related to the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.  Excluding that benefit, net income improved 3.7% to $8.6 million, or 16 cents per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2017 from $8.3 million, or 15 cents per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2016.  Net income was $90.3 million, or $1.65 per diluted share, for the year ended December 31, 2017.  Excluding the deferred income taxes benefit, 2017 net income improved 1.1% to $33.8 million, or 62 cents per diluted share, from $33.5 million, or 61 cents per diluted share, for 2016.
         
         
  Earnings Impact of Deferred Income Taxes Benefit  
     
      Three Months     Year    
      Ended     Ended    
  (In thousands, except share information)   Dec. 31, 2017     Dec. 31, 2017    
                     
  Net income:                  
  Excluding deferred income taxes benefit   $  8,609     $ 33,819    
  Deferred income taxes benefit     56,465       56,465    
  Net income   $ 65,074     $ 90,284    
  Diluted earnings per common share*:                  
  Excluding deferred income taxes benefit   $  0.16     $ 0.62    
  Deferred income taxes benefit     1.03       1.03    
  Diluted earnings per common share   $ 1.18     $ 1.65    
     
  *Differences in rounding exist for the diluted earnings per common share amounts for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2017.  
     
     

Operating revenue improved 5.9% to $182.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2017 from $172.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2016, and improved 4.0% to $698.1 million for 2017 from $671.1 million for 2016.  Excluding fuel surcharges, operating revenue improved 3.9% to $163.4 million for the 2017 quarter from $157.4 million for the 2016 quarter, and improved 2.1% to $631.0 million for 2017 from $617.9 million for 2016.  Fuel surcharge revenue increased to $19.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2017 from $15.3 million for the 2016 quarter, and increased to $67.1 million for 2017 from $53.2 million for 2016.

Operating expenses as a percentage of operating revenue was 92.2% for the fourth quarter of 2017 and 91.6% for the fourth quarter of 2016.  Operating expenses as a percentage of operating revenue, with both amounts net of fuel surcharges, was 91.2% for the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to 90.8% for the fourth quarter of 2016.

Operating expenses as a percentage of operating revenue was 91.9% for 2017 and 91.3% for 2016.  Operating expenses as a percentage of operating revenue, with both amounts net of fuel surcharges, was 91.0% for 2017 compared to 90.6% for 2016.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Randolph L. Marten said, "We are pleased to report improvements in both our top- and bottom-line results for the quarter and year, results our people achieved while overcoming significantly less gain on disposition of our revenue equipment in 2017.  We fully capitalized on the strengthening freight environment to better our average revenue per tractor by 7.1% in our Truckload operations and by 2.5% in our Dedicated operations from the 2016 to the 2017 quarter, along with revenue increases in both our Intermodal and Brokerage operations.  We continue to earn awards of new Dedicated business and expect our number of Dedicated tractors to increase to over 1,150 by June 2018.  We also improved our balance sheet position with $15.8 million in cash at the end of 2017 from $7.9 million in debt at the beginning of the year.  We expect to further capitalize on profitable growth opportunities with our diversified platform, cost control emphasis, modern fleet, strong balance sheet and the smart, hard work of our people."

Marten Transport, with headquarters in Mondovi, Wis., is one of the leading temperature-sensitive truckload carriers in the United States, specializing in transporting and distributing food and other consumer packaged goods that require a temperature-controlled or insulated environment.  Marten's dry freight services are expanding, with 966 dry trailers operating as of December 31, 2017.  Marten offers service in the United States, Canada and Mexico, concentrating on expedited movements for high-volume customers.  Marten's common stock is traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol MRTN.

This press release contains certain statements that may be considered forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.  These statements include our discussion of the Company's prospects for future growth and by their nature involve substantial risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially from those expressed in such forward-looking statements.  Important factors known to the Company that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements are discussed in Item 1A of the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016.  The Company undertakes no obligation to correct or update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

CONTACTS: Tim Kohl, President, and Jim Hinnendael, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, of Marten Transport, Ltd., 715-926-4216.
                 
  MARTEN TRANSPORT, LTD.
CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED BALANCE SHEETS
(Unaudited)
   
  December 31,        December 31,  
(In thousands, except share information) 2017       2016  
   
ASSETS                
Current assets:                
Cash and cash equivalents $ 15,791       $ 488  
Receivables:                
Trade, net   74,886         69,199  
Other   6,131         4,436  
Prepaid expenses and other   19,810         19,307  
Total current assets   116,618         93,430  
Property and equipment:                
Revenue equipment, buildings and land, office equipment and other   783,648         759,553  
Accumulated depreciation   (211,728 )       (201,728 )
Net property and equipment   571,920         557,825  
Other assets   1,865         2,493  
Total assets $ 690,403       $ 653,748  
                 
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY
Current liabilities:                
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities $ 38,100       $ 41,230  
Insurance and claims accruals   26,177         19,440  
Total current liabilities   64,277         60,670  
Long-term debt   -         7,886  
Deferred income taxes   100,626         147,854  
Total liabilities   164,903         216,410  
                 
Stockholders' equity:                
Preferred stock, $.01 par value per share; 2,000,000 shares authorized; no shares issued and outstanding   -         -  
Common stock, $.01 par value per share; 96,000,000 shares authorized; 54,533,455 shares at December 31, 2017, and 54,391,525 shares at  December 31, 2016, issued and outstanding   545         544  
Additional paid-in capital   76,413         74,175  
Retained earnings   448,542         362,619  
Total stockholders' equity   525,500         437,338  
Total liabilities and stockholders' equity $ 690,403       $ 653,748  
                 

                                   
MARTEN TRANSPORT, LTD.
CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
(Unaudited)
   
      Three Months     Year  
      Ended December 31,     Ended December 31,   
(In thousands, except per share information)     2017     2016     2017     2016  
                                   
Operating revenue     $ 182,771     $ 172,661     $ 698,120     $ 671,144  
Operating expenses (income):                                  
Salaries, wages and benefits       59,382       56,711       226,091       224,827  
Purchased transportation       32,803       28,722       118,349       110,719  
Fuel and fuel taxes       28,284       25,670       105,390       94,075  
Supplies and maintenance       9,701       10,887       41,613       43,912  
Depreciation       21,245       21,240       85,120       82,445  
Operating taxes and licenses       2,180       2,367       8,993       9,099  
Insurance and claims       9,487       8,978       38,585       32,223  
Communications and utilities       1,516       1,586       6,047       6,287  
Gain on disposition of revenue equipment       (617 )     (3,040 )     (5,499 )     (10,502 )
Other       4,457       5,007       16,569       19,756  
                                   
Total operating expenses       168,438       158,128       641,258       612,841  
                                   
Operating income       14,333       14,533       56,862       58,303  
                                   
Other       109       443       389       1,237  
                                   
Income before income taxes       14,224       14,090       56,473       57,066  
                                   
Income taxes (benefit) expense       (50,850 )     5,787       (33,811 )     23,602  
                                   
Net income     $ 65,074     $ 8,303     $ 90,284     $ 33,464  
                                   
Basic earnings per common share     $ 1.19     $ 0.15     $ 1.66     $ 0.62  
                                   
Diluted earnings per common share     $ 1.18     $ 0.15     $ 1.65     $ 0.61  
                                   
Dividends declared per common share     $ 0.025     $ 0.015     $ 0.08     $ 0.06  
                                   

 
                                 
MARTEN TRANSPORT, LTD.
SEGMENT INFORMATION
(Unaudited)
   
                      Dollar     Percentage
                      Change     Change
  Three Months     Three Months     Three Months
  Ended     Ended     Ended
  December 31,     December 31,     December 31,
(Dollars in thousands) 2017         2016     2017 vs. 2016     2017 vs. 2016
Operating revenue:                                
Truckload revenue, net of fuel surcharge revenue $ 85,469         $ 86,453     $ (984 )   (1.1 )%
Truckload fuel surcharge revenue   12,161           10,113       2,048     20.3  
Total Truckload revenue   97,630           96,566       1,064     1.1  
                                 
Dedicated revenue, net of fuel surcharge revenue   39,037           37,174       1,863     5.0  
Dedicated fuel surcharge revenue   3,916           3,188       728     22.8  
Total Dedicated revenue   42,953           40,362       2,591     6.4  
                                 
Intermodal revenue, net of fuel surcharge revenue   19,171           16,155       3,016     18.7  
Intermodal fuel surcharge revenue   3,254           1,992       1,262     63.4  
Total Intermodal revenue   22,425           18,147       4,278     23.6  
                                 
Brokerage revenue   19,763           17,586       2,177     12.4  
                                 
Total operating revenue $ 182,771         $ 172,661     $ 10,110     5.9 %
                                 
Operating income:                                
Truckload $ 7,077         $ 7,038     $ 39     0.6 %
Dedicated   2,999           4,587       (1,588 )   (34.6 )
Intermodal   2,526           1,735       791     45.6  
Brokerage   1,731           1,173       558     47.6  
Total operating income $ 14,333         $ 14,533     $ (200 )   (1.4 )%
                                 
Operating ratio:                                
Truckload   92.8 %         92.7 %              
Dedicated   93.0           88.6                
Intermodal   88.7           90.4                
Brokerage   91.2           93.3                
                                 
Consolidated operating ratio   92.2 %         91.6 %              
                                 

 
                             
MARTEN TRANSPORT, LTD.
SEGMENT INFORMATION
(Unaudited)
   
                  Dollar      Percentage
                  Change     Change
      Year   Year     Year
      Ended   Ended     Ended
        December 31,   December 31,     December 31,
(Dollars in thousands)       2017     2016   2017 vs. 2016     2017 vs. 2016
Operating revenue:                            
Truckload revenue, net of fuel surcharge revenue     $ 336,596   $ 339,967   $ (3,371 )   (1.0 )%
Truckload fuel surcharge revenue       43,614     35,884     7,730     21.5  
Total Truckload revenue       380,210     375,851     4,359     1.2  
                             
Dedicated revenue, net of fuel surcharge revenue       153,691     147,007     6,684     4.5  
Dedicated fuel surcharge revenue       13,190     10,363     2,827     27.3  
Total Dedicated revenue       166,881     157,370     9,511     6.0  
                             
Intermodal revenue, net of fuel surcharge revenue       70,282     64,508     5,774     9.0  
Intermodal fuel surcharge revenue       10,339     6,982     3,357     48.1  
Total Intermodal revenue       80,621     71,490     9,131     12.8  
                             
Brokerage revenue       70,408     66,433     3,975     6.0  
                             
Total operating revenue     $ 698,120   $ 671,144   $ 26,976     4.0 %
                             
Operating income:                            
Truckload     $ 26,326   $ 27,438   $ (1,112 )   (4.1 )%
Dedicated       17,074     19,550     (2,476 )   (12.7 )
Intermodal       8,303     7,131     1,172     16.4  
Brokerage       5,159     4,184     975     23.3  
Total operating income     $ 56,862   $ 58,303   $ (1,441 )   (2.5 )%
                             
Operating ratio:                            
Truckload       93.1 %   92.7 %            
Dedicated       89.8     87.6              
Intermodal       89.7     90.0              
Brokerage       92.7     93.7              
                             
Consolidated operating ratio       91.9 %   91.3 %            
                             

                                 
MARTEN TRANSPORT, LTD.
OPERATING STATISTICS
(Unaudited)
                                 
    Three Months   Year
    Ended December 31,   Ended December 31,
    2017   2016   2017   2016
Truckload Segment:                                
Revenue (in thousands)   $ 97,630     $ 96,566     $ 380,210     $ 375,851  
Average revenue, net of fuel surcharges, per tractor per week (1)   $ 3,700     $ 3,456     $ 3,514     $ 3,427  
Average tractors (1)     1,758       1,903       1,837       1,898  
Average miles per trip     601       608       599       623  
Non-revenue miles percentage (2)     6.2 %     9.1 %     8.3 %     9.2 %
Total miles (in thousands)     43,624       46,786       178,760       184,281  
                                 
Dedicated Segment:                                
Revenue (in thousands)   $ 42,953     $ 40,362     $ 166,881     $ 157,370  
Average revenue, net of fuel surcharges, per tractor per week (1)   $ 3,535     $ 3,448     $ 3,481     $ 3,432  
Average tractors (1)     840       820       847       819  
Average miles per trip     296       295       297       301  
Non-revenue miles percentage (2)     1.1 %     0.8 %     0.8 %     0.8 %
Total miles (in thousands)     19,461       18,826       77,102       75,333  
                                 
Intermodal Segment:                                
Revenue (in thousands)   $ 22,425     $ 18,147     $ 80,621     $ 71,490  
Loads     10,554       9,273       40,196       35,947  
Average tractors     78       76       79       76  
                                 
Brokerage Segment:                                
Revenue (in thousands)   $ 19,763     $ 17,586     $ 70,408     $ 66,433  
Loads     11,667       12,926       48,271       49,721  
                                 
At December 31, 2017 and December 31, 2016:                                
Total tractors (1)     2,738       2,785                  
Average age of company tractors (in years)     1.5       1.4                  
Total trailers     4,909       4,854                  
Average age of company trailers (in years)     2.8       2.7                  
Ratio of trailers to tractors (1)     1.8       1.7                  
                                 
                                 
    Three Months     Year  
    Ended December 31,     Ended December 31,  
(In thousands)   2017     2016     2017     2016  
                                 
Net cash provided by operating activities   $ 27,169     $ 29,531     $ 121,879     $ 133,801  
Net cash (used for) investing activities     (11,303 )     (28,448 )     (95,318 )     (97,290 )
Net cash (used for) financing activities     (1,234 )     (770 )     (11,258 )     (36,457 )
                                 
Weighted average shares outstanding:                                
Basic     54,529       54,329       54,492       54,177  
Diluted     54,979       54,616       54,850       54,461  
                                 
(1) Includes tractors driven by both company-employed drivers and independent contractors.  Independent contractors provided 60 and 68 tractors as of December 31, 2017 and 2016, respectively.
                                 
(2) Represents the percentage of miles for which the company is not compensated.
                                 

Primary Logo