Market Overview

Hub Group, Inc. Reports Record Fourth Quarter 2018 Results From Continuing Operations

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Highlights of the quarter

  • Acquired CaseStack, further diversifying our service lines
  • 12% revenue growth driven by intermodal, logistics, and dedicated
  • 30% gross margin growth
  • 38% increase in operating income

OAK BROOK, Ill., Feb. 07, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Hub Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:HUBG) announced fourth quarter 2018 net income of $48.9 million, or diluted earnings per share of $1.46. Income from continuing operations for the current quarter was $33.7 million, or $1.01 per diluted share.  Income from discontinued operations for the current quarter was $15.2 million, or $0.45 per diluted share. 

Fourth quarter 2017, adjusted net income was $24.7 million excluding the impact of tax reform, or adjusted diluted earnings per share of $0.74. Adjusted income from continuing operations for the fourth quarter 2017 was $20.9 million excluding the impact of tax reform, or adjusted $0.62 per diluted share.  The fourth quarter of 2017 included a $75.2 million, or $2.25 per diluted share, decrease in income taxes resulting from the change to our deferred tax liability at December 31, 2017 caused by the reduction of the federal tax rate as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  Income from discontinued operations for the fourth quarter 2017 was $3.9 million, or $0.12 per diluted share.  Fourth quarter 2017 net income was $99.9 million, or diluted earnings per share of $2.99 including the impact of tax reform. 

Results of Continuing Operations

Revenue for the current quarter was $1.0 billion compared with $909.2 million for the fourth quarter 2017 as a result of our success in providing multimodal solutions to our customers.   Operating income for the current quarter increased 38% to $48.2 million versus $35.1 million for the fourth quarter 2017, primarily as a result of a favorable intermodal pricing environment, effective margin improvement initiatives, our focus on providing value added customer solutions, and continuing stringent cost control.

Fourth quarter intermodal revenue increased 18% to $598.1 million due to a 5% increase in load volume, price increases and higher fuel revenue. Transcon volume was up 7%, local west was up 8%, and local east was up 1%. Intermodal gross margin increased compared to the fourth quarter of 2017 primarily due to higher pricing, improved mix, better network balance and increased volume.  These gains were partially offset by higher rail and drayage costs and 0.8 day worse utilization than 2017 primarily due to rail service.  We ended the fourth quarter of 2018 with approximately 38,000 containers and 1,200 tractors assigned to the dray fleet.

Truck brokerage revenue decreased 12% to $140.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to the same quarter of last year.  Truck brokerage handled 3% fewer loads while fuel, price and mix combined were down 9%.  Contractual volume represented 83% of total load volume compared to 72% in the fourth quarter of 2017. Truck brokerage gross margin decreased compared to the fourth quarter of 2017 primarily because of decreased spot business.

Fourth quarter logistics revenue increased 8% to $200.0 million due to the addition of CaseStack and growth with existing customers, partially offset by lost customers. Logistics gross margin increased compared to the fourth quarter of 2017 due to the addition of CaseStack, price increases, and growth with existing customers.

Dedicated revenue increased 40% to $80.0 million compared to the same quarter in the prior year due to growth with new customers.  Dedicated gross margin increased compared to the fourth quarter of 2017 due to decreased use of outside carriers and improved driver productivity.  We ended the fourth quarter of 2018 with approximately 1,400 tractors and 5,200 trailers in Dedicated. 

Costs and expenses increased $18.8 million to $90.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to $71.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2017 due primarily to the addition of CaseStack, a $6.7 million increase in incentive compensation, $2.7 million of higher professional and driver recruiting fees, $1.9 million increase in salaries due to higher headcount and employee raises, and $1.6 million increase in compensation expense from restricted stock partially offset by $1.4 million of lower commissions. Professional fees include $1.0 million of advisory and other services associated with acquisitions. Costs and expenses include a total of $1.9 million of non-cash amortization expense related to CaseStack and Hub Group Dedicated and $0.2 million of compensation expense associated with restricted stock issued to CaseStack management in connection with the acquisition.

Discontinued Operations

Income from discontinued operations related to the sale of our Mode segment, net of income taxes, for the fourth quarter 2018 was $15.2 million or diluted earnings per share of $0.45, versus fourth quarter 2017 net income of $3.9 million or $0.12 per diluted share.

Cash Flow and Capitalization

Our capital expenditures for the fourth quarter 2018 totaled $61.0 million, primarily for tractors, containers, trailers and technology investments.  At December 31, 2018, we had cash and cash equivalents of $61.4 million. 

At December 31, 2018, we had total debt outstanding of $338.4 million on various debt instruments compared to $302.5 million at December 31, 2017. 

2019 Outlook

We expect that our 2019 diluted earnings per share will range from $3.10 to $3.30. We expect amortization expense associated with the CaseStack and Hub Group Dedicated acquisitions will be approximately $13.5 million and compensation expense related to restricted stock issued to CaseStack management in connection with the acquisition will be approximately $2.4 million in 2019. We estimate that our 2019 capital expenditures will range from $90 million to $100 million. We project our effective tax rate for 2019 will range from 25.0% to 26.0%.

CONFERENCE CALL

Hub will hold a conference call at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, February 7, 2019 to discuss its fourth 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 www.hubgroup.com.  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 http://www.yourconferencecenter.com/r.aspx?p=1&a=UuDpQkjNEPbxBF. 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 www.hubgroup.com. This replay will be available for 30 days.

On February 8, 2019, the company will make available on its website an Investor Presentation, which includes updated business information and fourth quarter 2018 results, among other things. The presentation can be accessed by going to www.hubgroup.com, 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 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.

SOURCE:  Hub Group, Inc.


HUB GROUP, INC.
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF EARNINGS
(in thousands, except per share amounts)
(unaudited) 
   
                   
              Three Months Ended December 31,    
              2018       2017    
                % of         % of    
              Amount Revenue       Amount Revenue    
Revenue       $  1,018,293 100.0   %   $  909,239 100.0   %
                               
Transportation costs        879,706 86.4   %    802,633 88.3   %
  Gross margin        138,587 13.6   %    106,606 11.7   %
                               
Costs and expenses:                        
  Salaries and benefits      59,290 5.9   %    47,925 5.3   %
  General and administrative      25,715 2.5   %    19,790 2.2   %
  Depreciation and amortization      5,338 0.5   %    3,824 0.4   %
    Total costs and expenses      90,343 8.9   %    71,539 7.9   %
                               
Operating income        48,244 4.7   %    35,067 3.9   %
                               
Other income (expense):                      
  Interest expense        (2,909) -0.3   %    (2,279) -0.2  
  Interest and dividend income      994 0.1   %    16 0.0   %
  Other, net        38 0.0   %    134 0.0  
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