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USA Truck says results strong despite 4th-quarter loss

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was published February 11, 2014 at 6:28 a.m.

USA Truck on Tuesday reported a loss of $4.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2013, but company officials said overall results pointed toward the company returning to profitability this year.

The Van Buren-based transportation company's $4.6 million net loss, or 45 cents per diluted share, marked a 43.75 percent decline from net loss of $3.2 million, or 31 cents per diluted share, in the final 2012 quarter.

The fourth-quarter 2013 numbers were affected by costs incurred by Knight Transportation's attempt to acquire USA Truck as well as a review of long-term claims liability reserves that resulted in an adjustment of $6 million, the company said. Without those adjustments, the company said, it would have posted a net loss of just $41,626 in the fourth quarter.

Revenue, meanwhile, increased 6.2 percent from $107.1 million a year earlier to $113.6 million in the fourth quarter. Asset-based trucking revenue was up 6.9 percent, and non-asset-based strategic capacity solutions jumped 4.1 percent.

President and CEO John Simone noted that, when adjustments are considered, the past quarter marked the first quarter of positive operating income since the second quarter of 2011. The company can return to profitability in full-year 2014, he said.

"The fourth quarter capped a turning point year for USA Truck, with improvements in virtually every area of our business," he said in a statement. "Our results reflect the growing positive momentum of our strategic plan, which focuses on three critical areas — operational execution, profitable revenue growth and cost effectiveness.

A conference call on the results is set for 8 a.m. Tuesday. Participants can call (800) 351-6807 or (334) 323-7224 (international) and use access code 541247.

A replay of the call will be available later at (877) 919-4059 with access code 65832045 or online here.

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