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- JB Hunt‘s first-quarter earnings missed Wall Street estimates.
- Shares were down as much as 6%.
- Watch JB Hunt trade live.
JB Hunt, one of the biggest trucking companies in the US, reported its first-quarter results after Monday’s closing bell. Both earnings and revenue missed the expectations of Wall Street analysts surveyed by Bloomberg:
- Earnings per share: $1.09 versus $1.25 expected
- Revenue: $2.09 billion versus $2.2 billion expected
- Operating Income: $168 million versus $196 million
The company noted a series of factors that were behind the weak results, including higher driver salaries and challenges due to the winter weather. “Volumes were affected by the expected rail lane closures and persistent severe winter weather events impacting Chicago operations,” according to the company’s press release.
JB Hunt announced in January the $100 million purchase of Cory 1st Choice Home Delivery, a NJ-based company which specializes in furniture delivery.
The growth of e-commerce has been a boon to the trucking industry, opening opportunities for “last-mile” delivery. In 2018, e-commerce grew by 16%, according to Peggy Dorf, a market analyst at DAT.
“This is a strategic investment that will further advance our final mile delivery capabilities of ‘big and bulky’ products to consumers and expand our expertise in furniture delivery,” commented John Roberts, CEO of JB Hunt.
Recently, there has been some debate as to whether the US has been suffering from a “truck-driver shortage.” The industry research group The American Transportation Research Institute has been sounding the alarm on a driver shortage, which it ranked as the top industry concern for the second year in a row.
However, a recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics found evidence opposing that view.
“Perhaps most surprising, a basic model of moving between occupations shows that truck drivers have lower occupational migration than other workers with similar education levels,” the report said. “This suggests that, in the aggregate, the labor market for truck drivers works about as well as the labor markets for other blue-collar occupations.”
JB Hunt was up 9% this year through Monday’s closing bell.