Daseke Reports Q2 Revenue Of $404 Million, Up 15% Year-Over-Year

Daseke Inc. on Tuesday reported second-quarter adjusted earnings per share of 42 cents, compared to 10 cents per share in the same year-ago quarter.

The nation's largest flatbed carrier's quarterly revenue rose 15% year-over-year to $404 million, with adjusted net income of $30.2 million.

The revenue and net income results excluded results from its oil rig transportation unit Aveda Transportation and Energy Services. Daseke sold Aveda in 2020, after acquiring the company in 2018.

"We continue to see a strong uplift in construction- and manufacturing-related verticals, which have seen growing momentum since the beginning of the year," Jason Bates, Daseke's executive vice president and CFO, said during a Tuesday earnings call. "This has been a contributing factor to the recovering freight environment, particularly in our flatbed business."

Daseke beat analysts' consensus estimates for the second quarter, which had forecast revenue of $370 million and profit of 9 cents per share.

Daseke DSKE offers flatbed, specialized transportation and logistics services across North America. The company has a fleet of more than 4,500 tractors and 11,000 flatbed and specialized trailers.

During the earnings call, Daseke also announced that Jonathan Shepko has been named permanent CEO at the Addison, Texas-based company.

Shepko joined Daseke as interim CEO in January after the resignation of CEO Chris Easter. 

"I'm looking forward to leading this team and continuing to develop all the emerging leaders we have across the organization," Shepko said during the call.

Daseke officials said the flatbed division experienced a rate environment that has returned to pre-pandemic levels.

Flatbed rate per mile increased 39% year-over-year to $2.50. Flatbed freight revenue increased 32% year-over-year to $181 million, with total miles down 10% to 54.6 million.

Freight revenue per tractor rose 38%, to $55,500, during the second quarter. 

Bates also attributed some of the better financial performance in the flatbed division to improved driver recruiting and retention.

"While many in the industry have cited concerns over driver recruitment and retention, we are pleased to report that our driver turnover remains significantly below industry averages," Bates said. "We focus on getting [drivers] miles, getting them paid, and getting them home safely and on time." 

Freight revenue in Daseke's specialized transportation division increased 2% year-over-year to $226.1 million. Revenue per specialized tractor increased 18%, to 66,700, during the second quarter.

Specialized segment total miles increased 1% year-over-year during the second quarter to 51 million. 

Daseke's specialized segment benefited from strong demand and freight rates in construction, high-security cargo, and glass freight, which largely offset declining activity in the wind energy market versus last year's second quarter, the company said in a release.

The company raised its full-year 2021 revenue range to between $1.5 billion and $1.6 billion, up from the previous guidance of $1.4 billion to $1.5 billion during first-quarter financial results. 

Daseke also raised its adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization forecast for the full year to be in a range of $200 million to $210 million, up from the previous EBITDA guidance of $165 million to $175 million.

"Although we do anticipate continued industry-wide cost pressures in the form of driver recruitment, retention, equipment acquisition, as well as insurance and other general expenses into the foreseeable future, given the strong revenues and adjusted EBITDA performance halfway through the year, the ongoing realization of our business improvement initiatives and our positive view towards market fundamentals for the remainder of 2021, we are raising our guided outlook for both metrics," Bates said.

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