Market Overview

Hub Group, Inc. Reports Record Third Quarter 2018 Results


Highlights of the quarter

  • 13% revenue growth
  • 33% gross margin growth
  • 121% increase in operating income
  • Sold Mode Transportation, LLC for approximately $238.5 million

OAK BROOK, Ill., Oct. 25, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Hub Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:HUBG) announced third quarter 2018 net income of $114.6 million, or diluted earnings per share of $3.41 versus third quarter 2017 net income of $15.3 million, or $0.46 per diluted share. Income from continuing operations for the current quarter was $25.8 million, or $0.77 per diluted share versus third quarter 2017 income from continuing operations of $11.6 million, or $0.35 per diluted share.

On August 31, 2018, Hub Group, Inc. closed on the sale of Mode Transportation, LLC.  Mode's temperature protected services division ("Temstar") was not included in the sale and was retained by Hub and is reported in the intermodal line of business.  The comparative results of Mode have been reported as "discontinued operations" in the Consolidated Financial Statements. 

Results of Continuing Operations

Revenue for the current quarter was $933.2 million compared with $824.8 million for the third quarter 2017 as a result of our success in providing integrated supply chain solutions.   Operating income for the current quarter increased to $34.7 million versus $15.7 million for the third quarter 2017. Operating income increased 121%.

Third quarter intermodal revenue increased 20% to $576.5 million due to a 3% increase in load volume, price increases and higher fuel revenue. Transcon volume was up 7%, local west was up 6%, and local east was down 2%. Intermodal gross margin increased compared to the third quarter of 2017 primarily due to higher pricing, improved mix and accessorial recovery, better network balance and increased volume.  These gains were partially offset by higher rail and drayage costs and one day worse utilization than 2017.  We ended the third quarter of 2018 with approximately 36,800 containers and 1,100 tractors assigned to the dray fleet.

Truck brokerage revenue increased 8% to $122.1 million in the third quarter of 2018 compared to the same quarter of last year.  Truck brokerage handled 1% fewer loads while fuel, price and mix combined were up 9%.  Contractual volume represented 78% of total load volume compared to 82% in the third quarter of 2017. Truck brokerage gross margin increased compared to the third quarter of 2017 primarily because of growth with strategic customers and increased spot activity. 

Third quarter logistics revenue decreased 11% to $156.0 million due primarily to lost customers partially offset by growth with existing customers.  Logistics gross margin decreased compared to the third quarter of 2017 due to lost customers, changes in customer mix, and increased purchased transportation costs.

Dedicated revenue increased 36% to $78.6 million compared to the same quarter in the prior year.  Dedicated gross margin decreased compared to the third quarter of 2017 due to higher usage of outside carriers, startup costs associated with new contracts and higher driver wages.  We ended the third quarter of 2018 with approximately 1,500 tractors and 5,100 trailers in Dedicated. 

Costs and expenses increased $9.7 million to $80.3 million in the third quarter of 2018 compared to $70.6 million in the third quarter of 2017 due primarily to a $7.5 million increase in incentive compensation, $1.6 million increase in salaries due to higher headcount and employee raises, $1.4 million of higher commissions, and $1.0 million of higher professional fees partially offset by a $1.4 million increase in gain on sale of assets. Professional fees include $0.5 million for due diligence associated with potential acquisitions.

Operating income was $34.7 million compared to $15.7 million in the third quarter 2017.

Discontinued Operations

Income from discontinued operations, net of income taxes, for the third quarter 2018 was $88.8 million or diluted earnings per share of $2.64, versus third quarter 2017 net income of $3.7 million or $0.11 per diluted share.  Third quarter 2018 includes a gain on sale of Mode Transportation, LLC, net of transaction costs and income tax, of $86.3 million or diluted earnings per share of $2.57. We recorded one time incentive payments of approximately $0.6 million or approximately $0.02 per diluted share in the third quarter of 2018.

Cash Flow and Capitalization

Our capital expenditures for the third quarter 2018 totaled $69.6 million, primarily for tractors, containers, trailers and technology investments.  At September 30, 2018, we had cash and cash equivalents of $267.5 million. 

At September 30, 2018, we had total debt outstanding of $311.8 million on various debt instruments compared to $302.5 million at December 31, 2017. 

2018 Fourth Quarter Outlook

We expect that our fourth quarter 2018 diluted earnings per share will range from $0.85 to $0.95.  We estimate that our 2018 fourth quarter capital expenditures will range from $60 million to $80 million.  We project our effective tax rate for the fourth quarter will range from 22.0% to 22.4%.


Hub will hold a conference call at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, October 25th 2018 to discuss its third quarter 2018 results.

Hosting the conference call will be Dave Yeager, Chief Executive Officer.  Also participating on the call will be Don Maltby, Chief Operating Officer, and Terri Pizzuto, Chief Financial Officer.

This call is being webcast and can be accessed through the Investors link on Hub Group's web site at  The webcast is listen-only.  Those interested in participating in the question and answer session should follow the telephone dial-in instructions below.

To participate in the conference call by telephone, please register at Registrants will be issued a passcode and PIN to use when dialing into the live call which will provide quickest access to the conference.  You may register at any time, including up to and after the call start time.  On the day of the call, dial (888) 206-4064 approximately ten minutes prior to the scheduled call time; enter the participant passcode and PIN received during registration.   The call will be limited to 60 minutes, including questions and answers.

An audio replay will be available through the Investors link on the Company's Web site at This replay will be available for 30 days.

On October 25 2018, the company will make available on its website an Investor Presentation, which includes updated business information and third quarter 2018 results, among other things. The presentation can be accessed by going to, selecting the "Investors" tab, and then selecting the "Presentations" tab. The presentation will be available on the company's website until the next regular update.

CERTAIN FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS: Statements in this press release that are not historical, including statements about Hub Group's or management's earnings guidance, intentions, beliefs, expectations, representations, projections, plans or predictions of the future, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are inherently uncertain and subject to risks, and should be viewed with caution. Forward-looking statements may contain words such as "expects", "expected", "believe", "projected", "estimate", or similar words, and are based on management's experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions, and anticipated future developments, as well as other factors believed to be appropriate. We believe these statements and the assumptions and estimates contained in this release are reasonable based on information that is currently available to us. Such statements should be viewed with caution. Actual results or experience could differ materially from the forward-looking statements as a result of many factors. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include intermodal costs and prices, the integration of any acquisitions and expenses relating thereto, the future performance of Hub's Intermodal, Truck Brokerage, Dedicated and Unyson Logistics business lines, driver shortages, the amount and timing of strategic investments or divestitures by Hub, the failure to integrate critical information technology systems, retail customers encountering adverse economic conditions and the factors listed from time to time in Hub Group's SEC reports including, but not limited to, the annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017.  Hub Group assumes no liability to update any such forward-looking statements.

(in thousands, except per share amounts)
              Three Months Ended September 30,
                % of     % of
              Amount Revenue   Amount Revenue
Revenue       $ 933,224   100.0 %   $ 824,809   100.0 %
Transportation costs         818,240   87.7 %     738,482   89.5 %
  Gross margin         114,984   12.3 %     86,327   10.5 %
Costs and expenses:                
  Salaries and benefits         57,123   6.1 %     45,978   5.6 %
  General and administrative         19,327   2.1 %     20,637   2.5 %
  Depreciation and amortization    
View Comments and Join the Discussion!
Don't Miss Any Updates!
News Directly in Your Inbox
Subscribe to:
Benzinga Premarket Activity
Get pre-market outlook, mid-day update and after-market roundup emails in your inbox.
Market in 5 Minutes
Everything you need to know about the market - quick & easy.
Daily Analyst Rating
A summary of each day’s top rating changes from sell-side analysts on the street.
Fintech Focus
A daily collection of all things fintech, interesting developments and market updates.
Thank You

Thank you for subscribing! If you have any questions feel free to call us at 1-877-440-ZING or email us at