ARLINGTON, Va.--An overwhelming majority of voters, including 74 percent of surveyed union households, polled in a new survey oppose the Employee Free Choice Act, known as "Card Check."

An even larger majority of all households surveyed - 86 percent - oppose the EFCA because it would eliminate the secret ballot process that workers now enjoy in union representation elections. These results, from a national survey released by the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, are the latest topics for discussion by the American Trucking Associations (ATA) at www.bizcentral.org/american-trucking-association.

BizCentral.org is a blog community for business associations across various sectors. ATA encourages all reporters to check out our page on BizCentral.org and let us know how we are doing by leaving a comment. We welcome all BizCentral.org visitors to join the conversation and share their thoughts about the issues affecting our industry.

For more information about the Employee Free Choice Act, visit ATA's Web site
www.truckline.com.

The American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of other trucking groups, industry-related conferences and its 50 affiliated state trucking associations, ATA represents more than 37,000 members covering every type of motor carrier in the United States.

 

J. B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. Reports Revenues and Earnings for the Fourth Quarter and Year Ended December 31, 2008

  • Fourth Quarter 2008 Revenue: $880 million; down 7%
  • Fourth Quarter 2008 Operating Income: $86 million; down 11%*
  • Fourth Quarter 2008 EPS: 41 cents vs. 42 cents*
  • Full Year 2008 Revenue: $3.73 billion; up 7%
  • Full Year 2008 Operating Income: $358 million; down 3%*
  • Full Year 2008 EPS: $1.56 vs. $1.55*

LOWELL, Ark.-J. B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc., (NASDAQ:JBHT) announced fourth quarter 2008 net earnings of $53.3 million, or diluted earnings per share of 41 cents vs. 2007 fourth quarter earnings of $54.3 million, or 42 cents per diluted share. Financial results for the current quarter include a $3.1 million pretax charge, or $0.02 per diluted share, to write down to estimated fair value, certain trailing equipment held for sale. Fourth quarter 2007 results reflected an $8.4 million pretax charge, or $0.04 per diluted share, to write down to estimated fair value, certain assets (tractors and trailing equipment) held for sale.

Total operating revenue for the current quarter was $880 million, a 7% decline, compared with the $945 million for the fourth quarter 2007. Intermodal (JBI) volumes increased by approximately 7%, resulting in a small increase in segment revenue and Integrated Capacity Solution’s (ICS) revenue rose by 67%. Those increases were offset by declining fuel surcharge revenues in all segments and a softening of customer demand. Current quarter operating revenue, excluding fuel surcharges, declined 6%, compared with the same period of 2007.

Operating income for the current quarter declined to $86 million vs. $96 million for fourth quarter 2007. These results reflect pretax charges of $3.1 million in 2008 and $8.4 million in 2007, as discussed above. All of these charges were recognized in the Truck business segment. Net interest expense declined approximately $8.5 million during the current quarter, compared with the same period of 2007, primarily due to a refund of interest paid to the IRS from the 1999 tax case settlement, lower accrued interest on uncertain tax positions and the reduction of outstanding debt. The effective income tax rate was 35.8% in 2008 vs. 35.5% in 2007.

Substantially all of the tractors that were held for sale and written down to estimated fair value at December 31, 2007 were sold or traded during 2008. Approximately 120 of those tractors remain on hand at December 31, 2008 and are expected to be sold or traded during 2009. Approximately 980 trailers which were held for sale and written down to estimated fair value at December 31, 2007 were still on hand at December 31, 2008. These trailers are also expected to be sold or traded in 2009. An additional group of approximately 1,100 trailers was designated as held for sale and written down to estimated fair value at December 31, 2008. These trailers should be sold or traded during 2009.

“Flat years, as defined by net earnings, are certainly never our goal. However, we are quite pleased that we were able to sustain our earnings in the face of an extremely difficult environment. Our clear strategy over the last few years has been to reduce our exposure to the more cyclical, capital intensive segments of the freight market. At the same time, we have expanded in segments where we believed we could offer our customers a differentiated service at the best value.

“Strategy alone, of course, is only the beginning. We have a great team of people who understand and embrace our strategy and know how to execute our businesses. Their performance, combined with our focused strategy, not only allowed us to preserve earnings but to pay off $280 million of debt during the year.

“It is not clear to us how long the challenging economic environment will persist. But we are confident our strategy is sound, our Company is financially strong, and our people will continue to execute at the highest levels our customers have come to expect from us,” said Kirk Thompson, JBHT President and CEO.

* 4Q 2008 includes a $3.1 million pretax charge to write down the value of certain trailing equipment held for sale.

4Q 2007 includes an $8.4 million pretax charge to write down the value of certain assets held for sale.

For charts and more information, please go to www.jbhunt.com.

  • Generates Significant Free Cash Flow and Reduces Net Debt
  • New YRC Brand Name Leads to One-Time, Non-Cash Charge

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- YRC Worldwide Inc. (Nasdaq: YRCW) today announced a loss per share for the fourth quarter 2008 of $1.63, excluding impairment charges of $2.51 per share, and for the full year 2008 a loss per share of $1.22, excluding impairment charges of $15.70 per share. When including impairment, the fourth quarter loss was $4.14 per share compared to a loss of $12.99 per share in the fourth quarter of last year and a full year loss of $16.92 per share compared to a full year loss of $11.17 per share in 2007. The fourth quarter impairment charge consisted of $141 million related to the Roadway trade name as the company introduced a new YRC brand for the integrated network of Yellow Transportation and Roadway. The impairment charge also included goodwill of $59 million at YRC Logistics.

"Our results reflect the significance of the economic recession that has been longer and deeper than anyone anticipated," stated Bill Zollars, Chairman, President and CEO of YRC Worldwide. "Although we were not pleased with this level of performance, it was consistent with our internal expectations and those of our banking group. The discussions with the banks are progressing well, and we are on track to finalize an amendment by mid- February," Zollars added.

YRC Worldwide generated $220 million of cash from operating activities during 2008, and after accounting for net capital expenditures of $35 million, 2008 free cash flow was $185 million. Total debt at December 31, 2008 increased by $127 million compared to the prior year. However, when taking into account cash and cash equivalents of $325 million at December 31, 2008, the company's debt, net of cash, decreased by $140 million compared to 2007.

"Even in this economic environment, we generated a significant amount of cash and we have multiple initiatives in place that can further improve liquidity," stated Zollars. "We recognized $128 million of asset proceeds in 2008 and we expect to generate more than $250 million in 2009 from a combination of sale and financing leaseback transactions and sales of excess facilities."

Segment Information

Key segment information for the fourth quarter 2008 compared to the fourth quarter 2007 included:

  • YRC National Transportation total tonnage per day down 14.6% and total revenue per hundredweight, including fuel surcharge, down 3.6%.
  • YRC Regional Transportation total tonnage per day down about 14%, when adjusting for the network changes in the first quarter 2008, and down 23.6% without adjusting for the network changes. Total revenue per hundredweight, including fuel surcharge, down 3.5%.

Additional statistical information is available on the company's website at yrcw.com under Investors, Earnings Releases & Operating Statistics.

Outlook

"Although we cannot control or even predict the economy, we have considerable opportunities to improve our financial position while enhancing service to our customers," stated Zollars. "The network integration at YRC is now on track to deliver a run-rate of $200 million of operating income improvement by early in the fourth quarter of 2009. Combining this with the employee wage reductions of around $300 million, we expect to improve our results by more than half a billion dollars going into 2010."

Management Reporting

As a result of the integration efforts at YRC, the company has made some changes in the management reporting structure. Effectively immediately, Keith Lovetro, President of YRC Regional Transportation, reports directly to Bill Zollars. Mike Smid, President of YRC National Transportation, continues to lead the integration of Yellow Transportation and Roadway and remains responsible for all functions of YRC Inc. Mr. Smid continues to report to Mr. Zollars.

Review of Financial Results

YRC Worldwide Inc. (NASDAQ: YRCW) will host a conference call for shareholders and the investment community on Friday, January 30, 2009, beginning at 9:30am ET, 8:30am CT.

The conference call will be open to listeners through a live webcast via StreetEvents at streetevents.com and via the YRC Worldwide Internet site yrcw.com. An audio playback will also be available after the call via StreetEvents and the YRC Worldwide web sites.

Charts and details are available at www.yrcw.com

* * * * *

YRC Worldwide Inc., a Fortune 500 company and one of the largest transportation service providers in the world, is the holding company for a portfolio of successful brands including YRC, Reimer Express, YRC Logistics, New Penn, Holland, Reddaway and Glen Moore. Building on the strength of its heritage brands, Yellow Transportation and Roadway, the enterprise provides global transportation services, transportation management solutions and logistics management. The portfolio of brands represents a comprehensive array of services for the shipment of industrial, commercial and retail goods domestically and internationally. Headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas, YRC Worldwide employs approximately 55,000 people.

LOS ANGELES, CA-- Fred Smith, Founder, Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer of FedEx, will address TOWN HALL Los Angeles as part of its ongoing CEO series on Tuesday, February 10, 2009 at the Omni Los Angeles Hotel. Angelenos will have the opportunity to ask this entrepreneur about the current economy's impact on the industrial sector.

According to Fred Smith, everyone talks about Wall Street and Main Street, but few people address what he calls 'Commerce Street,' the industrial sector in between. In his speech to TOWN HALL Los Angeles, "Keeping America Competitive: the View from 'Commerce Street,'" Smith will outline ways to build a foundation for a healthier, more sustainable US business environment, one that can create more good-paying jobs here in California and across the US. His solutions include energy independence, tax reform, and policies that grow business, trade and communities. Smith believes that in the challenge of this downturn is an opportunity to increase America's competitiveness in the global marketplace.

With more than 290,000 team members, FedEx serves more than 220 countries and territories around the world. Since founding FedEx in 1971, Smith has been an active proponent of regulatory reform, free trade and "open skies agreements" for aviation worldwide. He is a member of the Energy Security Leadership Council, a group of CEOs and retired military leaders who make policy recommendations on developing energy independence and alternative fuels for the United States.

One of the Top 10 Executive Leadership Forums in the nation, and the only one in its region, TOWN HALL Los Angeles has been a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization supported by Angelenos, foundations and corporations who believe in open public discussion since 1937. Our mission is to provide a forum for ideas -- a place for conversation and community. We advocate for no side, represent no particular ideology and stand solidly in support of free speech, civility and a belief that knowledge is a priceless commodity. To learn more about TOWN HALL Los Angeles' events and membership opportunities visit www.townhall-la.org.

All accredited members of the media are invited to cover this event.

**Please credit TOWN HALL Los Angeles in your coverage.

When: Tuesday, February 10, 2009
12:00 PM Luncheon Program with Q&A

Where: Omni Los Angeles Hotel
251 South Olive Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Tickets $45-58, call 213.628.8141 or http://www.townhall-la.org/programs/register/1240.

Contact:

Deborah Weinberg
Director, Media Relations
213.312.9307

 

Connect with Us!