Marten Transport Announces Fourth Quarter and Year End Results

MONDOVI, Wis., Jan. 26, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Marten Transport, Ltd. (Nasdaq/GS:MRTN) today reported the highest operating revenue and operating income for any quarter and year in Marten’s history. For the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2020, net income improved 24.5% to $19.6 million, or 24 cents per diluted share, from $15.7 million, or 19 cents per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2019. For the year ended December 31, 2020, net income improved 13.8% to $69.5 million, or 84 cents per diluted share, from $61.1 million, or 74 cents per diluted share, for 2019.

    
 Operating Results Comparison  
    
  Percentage Percentage 
  Increase Increase 
  Three Months Year 
  Ended Ended 
  December 31, December 31, 
  2020 vs. 2019 2020 vs. 2019 
        
 Operating revenue4.7% 3.7% 
        
 Operating revenue, net of fuel surcharges8.8% 6.8% 
        
 Operating income36.0% 21.9% 
        
 Net income24.5% 13.8% 
   

Operating revenue improved 4.7% to a record $227.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2020 from $217.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2019, and improved 3.7% to a record $874.4 million for 2020 from $843.3 million for 2019. Excluding fuel surcharges, operating revenue improved 8.8% to $207.0 million for the 2020 quarter from $190.2 million for the 2019 quarter, and improved 6.8% to $790.6 million for 2020 from $739.9 million for 2019. Fuel surcharge revenue decreased to $20.4 million for the 2020 quarter from $27.0 million for the 2019 quarter and decreased to $83.8 million for 2020 from $103.4 million for 2019 due to significantly lower fuel prices.

Operating income improved 36.0% to a record $25.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2020 from $18.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2019, and improved 21.9% to a record $93.2 million for 2020 from $76.5 million for 2019.

Operating expenses as a percentage of operating revenue improved to 88.8% for the fourth quarter of 2020 from 91.3% for the fourth quarter of 2019. Operating expenses as a percentage of operating revenue, with both amounts net of fuel surcharges, improved to 87.7% from 90.1%.

Operating expenses as a percentage of operating revenue improved to 89.3% for 2020 from 90.9% for 2019. Operating expenses as a percentage of operating revenue, with both amounts net of fuel surcharges, improved to 88.2% from 89.7%.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Randolph L. Marten said, “Our relentless pursuit of continuous operating improvement just produced the highest operating revenue and operating income for any quarter and year in our 75-year history. Our 2020 operating ratio, net of fuel surcharges, was also the best ratio for any year since we became a public company in 1986. Our 21.9% operating income improvement in 2020 continues the strong growth we achieved in 2019 of 8.7% and in 2018 of 23.7%. Success breeds success, driven by the smart, disciplined work of our talented people.”

“We have been increasing and will continue to increase the compensation for our premium services within the tight freight market. We also improved our Truckload miles per tractor by 6.3% in the fourth quarter of 2020 and by 6.2% for the full year by making disciplined data-driven decisions and adjustments utilizing our in-house operating technology. We expect to continue to build on our success in expanding the capacity we provide within our unique multifaceted business model across our diverse customer base by offering the best careers for the industry’s top, experienced drivers.”

“We embrace our responsibility to keep our valued drivers, maintenance personnel and employees across all functions and regions safe and healthy as they each contribute to our transporting and distributing the food, beverages and other consumer goods essential to millions of people in North America. This includes our paying $3.4 million in 2020 for medical claims involving COVID-19, pay to employees off-work while recovering from COVID-19, and for safety measures including providing masks and hand sanitizer (purchasing the components, preparing and distributing over 6,000 bottles in March when sanitizer was not available), increasing the frequency and extent of cleaning processes to our facilities and tractors, and modifying our facilities for improved social distancing.”

Marten Transport, with headquarters in Mondovi, Wis., is a multifaceted business offering a network of refrigerated and dry truck-based transportation capabilities across the Company’s five distinct business platforms - Truckload, Dedicated, Intermodal, Brokerage and MRTN de Mexico. Marten is one of the leading temperature-sensitive truckload carriers in the United States, specializing in transporting and distributing food, beverages and other consumer packaged goods that require a temperature-controlled or insulated environment. The Company offers service in the United States, Canada and Mexico, concentrating on expedited movements for high-volume customers. Marten’s common stock is traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol MRTN.

This press release contains certain statements that may be considered forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These statements include a discussion of Marten’s prospects for future growth and by their nature involve substantial risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially from those expressed in such forward-looking statements. Important factors known to the Company that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements are discussed in Part I, Item 1A of the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019 and in Part II, Item 1A of the Company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2020. The Company undertakes no obligation to correct or update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

CONTACTS: Tim Kohl, President, and Jim Hinnendael, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, of Marten Transport, Ltd., 715-926-4216.

MARTEN TRANSPORT, LTD.
CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED BALANCE SHEETS

 December 31,  December 31, 
(In thousands, except share information)2020  2019 
 (Unaudited)     
ASSETS       
Current assets:       
Cash and cash equivalents$66,127  $31,461 
Receivables:       
Trade, net 83,426   90,712 
Other 4,202   11,055 
Prepaid expenses and other 21,903   20,938 
Total current assets 175,658   154,166 
        
Property and equipment:       
Revenue equipment, buildings and land, office equipment and other 930,123   904,237 
Accumulated depreciation (275,950)  (263,843)
 Net property and equipment 654,173   640,394 
Other noncurrent assets 1,805   2,026 
Total assets$831,636  $796,586 
        
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY       
Current liabilities:       
Accounts payable$25,702  $22,917 
Insurance and claims accruals 39,595   31,729 
Accrued and other current liabilities 24,497   21,680 
Total current liabilities 89,794   76,326 
Deferred income taxes 121,098   122,022 
Noncurrent operating lease liabilities 411   649 
Total liabilities 211,303   198,997 
        
Stockholders’ equity:       
Preferred stock, $.01 par value per share; 2,000,000 shares authorized; no shares issued and outstanding -   - 
Common stock, $.01 par value per share; 192,000,000 shares authorized; 82,705,005 shares at December 31, 2020, and 82,055,199 shares at December 31, 2019, issued and outstanding 827   821 
Additional paid-in capital 85,070   79,465 
Retained earnings 534,436   517,303 
Total stockholders’ equity 620,333   597,589 
Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity$831,636  $796,586 
        

MARTEN TRANSPORT, LTD.
CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
(Unaudited)

 Three Months  Year 
 Ended December 31,  Ended December 31, 
(In thousands, except per share information)2020  2019  2020  2019 
                
Operating revenue$227,333  $217,185  $874,374  $843,271 
                
Operating expenses (income):               
Salaries, wages and benefits 79,121   72,707   300,155   274,156 
Purchased transportation 40,937   41,596   154,613   158,948 
Fuel and fuel taxes 24,700   31,437   98,133   121,341 
Supplies and maintenance 11,314   11,998   47,815   46,737 
Depreciation 25,914   24,842   102,893   95,137 
Operating taxes and licenses 2,837   2,678   10,840   10,100 
Insurance and claims 12,294   8,846   47,454   38,201 
Communications and utilities 2,050   1,908   8,011   7,709 
Gain on disposition of revenue equipment (2,834)  (3,343)  (8,733)  (8,680)
Gain on disposition of facility -   -   (1,718)  - 
Other 5,442   5,729   21,665   23,124 
                
Total operating expenses 201,775   198,398   781,128   766,773 
                
Operating income 25,558   18,787   93,246   76,498 
                
Other (13)  (262)  (140)  (1,190)
                
Income before income taxes 25,571   19,049   93,386   77,688 
                
Income taxes expense 5,967   3,301   23,886   16,617 
                
Net income$19,604  $15,748  $69,500  $61,071 
                
Basic earnings per common share$0.24  $0.19  $0.84  $0.75 
                
Diluted earnings per common share$0.24  $0.19  $0.84  $0.74 
                
Dividends declared per common share$0.54  $0.02  $0.633  $0.513 
                

MARTEN TRANSPORT, LTD. 
SEGMENT INFORMATION 
(Unaudited)

         Dollar  Percentage 
         Change  Change 
 Three Months  Three Months  Three Months 
 Ended  Ended  Ended 
 December 31,  December 31,  December 31, 
(Dollars in thousands)2020  2019  2020 vs. 2019  2020 vs. 2019 
Operating revenue:               
Truckload revenue, net of fuel surcharge revenue$87,460  $82,991  $4,469   5.4%
Truckload fuel surcharge revenue 8,733   12,278   (3,545)  (28.9)
Total Truckload revenue 96,193   95,269   924   1.0 
                
Dedicated revenue, net of fuel surcharge revenue 71,313   59,570   11,743   19.7 
Dedicated fuel surcharge revenue 9,670   11,345   (1,675)  (14.8)
Total Dedicated revenue 80,983   70,915   10,068   14.2 
                
Intermodal revenue, net of fuel surcharge revenue 20,817   21,132   (315)  (1.5)
Intermodal fuel surcharge revenue 1,959   3,391   (1,432)  (42.2)
Total Intermodal revenue 22,776   24,523   (1,747)  (7.1)
                
Brokerage revenue 27,381   26,478   903   3.4 
                
Total operating revenue$227,333  $217,185  $10,148   4.7%
                
Operating income:               
Truckload$11,270  $7,110  $4,160   58.5%
Dedicated 9,900   8,110   1,790   22.1 
Intermodal 2,166   1,472   694   47.1 
Brokerage 2,222   2,095   127   6.1 
Total operating income$25,558  $18,787  $6,771   36.0%
                
Operating ratio:               
Truckload 88.3%  92.5%        
Dedicated 87.8   88.6         
Intermodal 90.5   94.0         
Brokerage 91.9   92.1         
Consolidated operating ratio 88.8%  91.3%        
                

MARTEN TRANSPORT, LTD.
SEGMENT INFORMATION
(Unaudited)

         Dollar  Percentage 
         Change  Change 
 Year  Year  Year 
 Ended  Ended  Ended 
 December 31,  December 31,  December 31, 
(Dollars in thousands)2020  2019  2020 vs. 2019  2020 vs. 2019 
Operating revenue:               
Truckload revenue, net of fuel surcharge revenue$342,357  $329,304  $13,053   4.0%
Truckload fuel surcharge revenue 36,791   48,696   (11,905)  (24.4)
Total Truckload revenue 379,148   378,000   1,148   0.3 
                
Dedicated revenue, net of fuel surcharge revenue 271,550   223,935   47,615   21.3 
Dedicated fuel surcharge revenue 38,234   42,049   (3,815)  (9.1)
Total Dedicated revenue 309,784   265,984   43,800   16.5 
                
Intermodal revenue, net of fuel surcharge revenue 79,944   77,750   2,194   2.8 
Intermodal fuel surcharge revenue 8,789   12,644   (3,855)  (30.5)
Total Intermodal revenue 88,733   90,394   (1,661)  (1.8)
                
Brokerage revenue 96,709   108,893   (12,184)  (11.2)
                
Total operating revenue$874,374  $843,271  $31,103   3.7%
                
Operating income:               
Truckload$39,637  $29,666  $9,971   33.6%
Dedicated 40,909   31,245   9,664   30.9 
Intermodal 5,730   6,612   (882)  (13.3)
Brokerage 6,970   8,975   (2,005)  (22.3)
Total operating income$93,246  $76,498  $16,748   21.9%
                
Operating ratio:               
Truckload 89.5%  92.2%        
Dedicated 86.8   88.3         
Intermodal 93.5   92.7         
Brokerage 92.8   91.8         
Consolidated operating ratio 89.3%  90.9%        
                

MARTEN TRANSPORT, LTD.
OPERATING STATISTICS
(Unaudited)

 Three Months  Year 
 Ended December 31,  Ended December 31, 
 2020  2019  2020  2019 
Truckload Segment:               
Revenue (in thousands)$96,193  $95,269  $379,148  $378,000 
Average revenue, net of fuel surcharges, per tractor per week(1)$4,116  $3,736  $3,926  $3,797 
Average tractors(1) 1,617   1,690   1,668   1,663 
Average miles per trip 526   554   547   548 
Non-revenue miles percentage(2) 10.4%  12.0%  10.7%  11.6%
Total miles (in thousands) 40,185   39,538   165,267   155,177 
                
Dedicated Segment:               
Revenue (in thousands)$80,983  $70,915  $309,784  $265,984 
Average revenue, net of fuel surcharges, per tractor per week(1)$3,350  $3,286  $3,316  $3,378 
Average tractors(1) 1,620   1,380   1,566   1,272 
Average miles per trip 303   313   305   315 
Non-revenue miles percentage(2) 0.7%  0.6%  0.7%  0.7%
Total miles (in thousands) 34,044   29,114   132,597   108,814 
                
Intermodal Segment:               
Revenue (in thousands)$22,776  $24,523  $88,733  $90,394 
Loads 8,708   9,731   36,444   36,309 
Average tractors 125   107   106   91 
                
Brokerage Segment:               
Revenue (in thousands)$27,381  $26,478  $96,709  $108,893 
Loads 13,928   15,690   58,986   63,200 
                
At December 31, 2020 and December 31, 2019:               
Total tractors(1) 3,331   3,212         
Average age of company tractors (in years) 1.6   1.8         
Total trailers 5,395   5,464         
Average age of company trailers (in years) 3.0   2.4         
Ratio of trailers to tractors(1) 1.6   1.7         

        

 Three Months  Year 
 Ended December 31,  Ended December 31, 
(In thousands)2020  2019  2020  2019 
                
Net cash provided by operating activities$34,891  $34,439  $189,598  $156,460 
Net cash (used for) investing activities (12,577)  (42,020)  (106,325)  (140,509)
Net cash (used for) financing activities (44,466)  (1,438)  (48,607)  (41,253)
                
Weighted average shares outstanding:               
Basic 82,690   82,043   82,527   81,945 
Diluted 83,311   82,824   83,164   82,670 


(1)Includes tractors driven by both company-employed drivers and independent contractors. Independent contractors provided 143 and 92 tractors as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively.
  
(2)Represents the percentage of miles for which the company is not compensated.

 


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