U.S. Xpress Enterprises Reports Fourth Quarter 2019 Results

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–U.S. Xpress Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE:USX) (the “Company”) today announced results for the fourth quarter of 2019.

Fourth Quarter 2019 Highlights

  • Operating revenue of $449.6 million compared to $469.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2018
  • Operating income of $1.4 million compared to $21.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2018
  • Operating ratio of 99.7% compared to 95.5% in the fourth quarter of 2018
  • Net loss attributable to controlling interest of $9.6 million, or $0.20 per diluted share, included a $6.8 million, or $0.14 per share, write off of an equity method investment compared to Net income attributable to controlling interest of $7.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2018
  • Adjusted net loss attributable to controlling interest, a non-GAAP measure, of $2.8 million, or $.05 per diluted share, compared to Adjusted net income of $19.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2018

Fourth Quarter Financial Performance

Quarter Ended December 31,

 

Year Ended December 31,

2019

2018

 

2019

2018

Operating revenue

$

449,633

 

$

469,222

 

$

1,707,361

 

$

1,804,915

 

Revenue, excluding fuel surcharge

$

405,288

 

$

422,530

 

$

1,538,450

 

$

1,622,083

 

Operating income

$

1,363

 

$

21,142

 

$

26,070

 

$

78,906

 

Adjusted operating income1

$

1,202

 

$

31,835

 

$

29,839

 

$

96,036

 

Operating ratio

 

99.7

%

 

95.5

%

 

98.5

%

 

95.6

%

Adjusted operating ratio1

 

99.7

%

 

92.5

%

 

98.1

%

 

94.1

%

Net income (loss) attributable to controlling interest

$

(9,594

)

$

6,997

 

$

(3,647

)

$

24,899

 

Adjusted net income (loss) attributable to controlling interest1

$

(2,820

)

$

19,494

 

$

6,228

 

$

48,066

 

Earnings (losses) per diluted share

$

(0.20

)

$

0.14

 

$

(0.07

)

$

0.83

 

Adjusted earnings (losses) per diluted share1

$

(0.05

)

$

0.39

 

$

0.12

 

$

1.59

 

Eric Fuller, President and CEO, commented, “Our fourth quarter results were impacted by the continued challenging market conditions experienced through much of 2019, posing a headwind to our financial results. Despite the market backdrop, I am very encouraged with the many successes that our team achieved this past year, as we made significant progress advancing our strategic initiatives focused on delivering improved efficiency. One area of focus is to continue to engineer the company to provide for a future of advanced technology, automation and high optimization. Our team has made real strides digitizing our systems to reduce the number of manual decisions made on a daily basis. We also made strong progress in our goal of delivering a ‘frictionless order’. When complete, we will significantly reduce the level of repetitive work required by our drivers and, as a result, allow them to spend more of their time moving freight and servicing our customers.”

Enterprise Update

Operating revenue was $449.6 million, a decrease of $19.6 million compared to the fourth quarter of 2018. Excluding revenue from the Company’s Mexico operations, which were discontinued in January 2019, operating revenue decreased $6.0 million. The decrease was primarily attributable to a decrease of $10.7 million in Brokerage revenue partially offset by increased volumes in our truckload division.

Operating income for the fourth quarter of 2019 was $1.4 million compared to $21.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2018. Operating ratio for the fourth quarter of 2019 was 99.7% compared to 95.5% in the prior year quarter.

Net loss attributable to controlling interest for the fourth quarter of 2019 was $9.6 million compared to Net income attributable to controlling interest of $7.0 million in the prior year quarter. The fourth quarter of 2019 included a $6.8 million impairment charge of an equity method investment. Our adjusted net loss attributable to controlling interest excluding this charge was $2.8 million or $.05 per share.

Truckload Segment

Quarter Ended December 31,

 

Year Ended December 31,

2019

2018

 

2019

2018

Over the road
Average revenue per tractor per week*

$

3,517

 

$

3,919

 

$

3,558

 

$

3,917

 

Average revenue per mile*

$

1.949

 

$

2.103

 

$

1.949

 

$

2.041

 

Average revenue miles per tractor per week

 

1,805

 

 

1,864

 

 

1,825

 

 

1,919

 

Average tractors

 

3,835

 

 

3,525

 

 

3,712

 

 

3,562

 

Dedicated
Average revenue per tractor per week*

$

4,032

 

$

3,869

 

$

4,007

 

$

3,717

 

Average revenue per mile*

$

2.398

 

$

2.329

 

$

2.375

 

$

2.259

 

Average revenue miles per tractor per week

 

1,681

 

 

1,661

 

 

1,687

 

 

1,645

 

Average tractors

 

2,828

 

 

2,770

 

 

2,727

 

 

2,701

 

Consolidated
Average revenue per tractor per week*

$

3,735

 

$

3,897

 

$

3,748

 

$

3,831

 

Average revenue per mile*

$

2.132

 

$

2.196

 

$

2.122

 

$

2.127

 

Average revenue miles per tractor per week

 

1,752

 

 

1,775

 

 

1,767

 

 

1,801

 

Average tractors

 

6,663

 

 

6,295

 

 

6,439

 

 

6,263

 

* Excluding fuel surcharge revenues
The above table excludes revenue, miles and tractors for services performed in Mexico.

Mr. Fuller said, “Our Dedicated division continued to perform very well in the fourth quarter having delivered its third consecutive quarter of record productivity. We were pleased that average revenue per tractor per week remained above $4,000, while we grew the truck count in this division by 2.9% sequentially. The execution in Dedicated through the year has been excellent and consistent with our long-term strategy, which is to continue to grow the business over time as attractive opportunities arise.”

In the Over-the-Road division, the persistent oversupply of tractors relative to market demand continued to pressure spot pricing lower by more than 30% compared to the prior year quarter and overshadowed the efficiency gains that we experienced across parts of our operations. Average revenue per tractor per week declined 10.3% compared with the fourth quarter of 2018. Average revenue per mile decreased 7.3% compared with the 2018 quarter, while average revenue miles per tractor per week decreased 3.2%.

The Dedicated division’s average revenue per tractor per week increased $163 per tractor per week, or 4.2% compared to the fourth quarter of 2018 on a 2.9% increase in average revenue per mile and higher miles per tractor. We continue to see consistent results in our Dedicated division despite the current adverse market conditions.

Brokerage Segment

Quarter Ended December 31,

 

Year Ended December 31,

2019

2018

 

2019

2018

Brokerage revenue

$

54,130

 

$

64,855

 

$

185,867

 

$

242,817

 

Gross margin %

 

7.2

%

 

13.9

%

 

12.9

%

 

13.4

%

Load Count

 

42,208

 

 

43,484

 

 

142,362

 

 

167,760

 

The Brokerage segment continues to provide additional selectivity for the Company’s assets to optimize yield, while at the same time offering more capacity solutions to customers. Brokerage segment revenue decreased to $54.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2019 compared to $64.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2018, primarily as a result of decreased revenue per load. Brokerage operating loss was $2.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2019 as compared to operating income of $3.0 million in the year ago quarter.

Liquidity and Capital Resources

During the quarter the Company closed on a new $250 million credit facility. The former facility was fully paid off with proceeds of new facility and contemporaneous real estate and equipment financings. The refinancing supports several goals including improved pricing, the ability to grow the borrowing base with the business, and additional flexibility to execute the plan to convert a significant portion of our fleet from operating lease financing to owned financing over time.

As of December 2019, we had $123.0 million of liquidity (defined as cash plus availability under the Company’s revolving credit facility), $390.4 million of net debt (defined as long-term debt, including current maturities, less cash balances), and $230.8 million of total stockholders’ equity. Capital expenditures, net of proceeds, related primarily to tractors and trailers were $81.6 million for 2019, excluding equipment financed under operating leases. We had approximately $20.0 million of net capital expenditures close in early January, which were originally planned to close in December. Had this transaction closed in December our capital expenditures would have approximated $100.0 million for the year. In addition, as previously disclosed, we refinanced our primary credit agreement in January 2020. Following expected post-closing perfection actions, liquidity under the new facility is expected to be over $100 million.

Outlook

The Company’s baseline assumptions for 2020 include slow growth in industry-wide truckload shipments, a continued reduction of total truckload capacity from the market, which is expected to drive an inflection in pricing later in the year, and relatively benign cost inflation. The first quarter is generally our weakest quarter of the year as we experience lower revenue per tractor and higher costs than the other quarters due to seasonal freight fluctuations and harsher operating conditions. While we see positive trends in certain areas, there continues to be uncertainty in the short-term environment, which will impact the actual sequential margin deterioration in the first quarter. We continue to believe that market conditions will improve in the back half 2020. The timing and magnitude of market changes will have a significant impact on our quarterly results given our substantial operating leverage.

Conference Call

The Company will hold a conference call to discuss its fourth quarter results at 8:30 a.m. (Eastern Time) on February 6, 2020. The conference call can be accessed live over the by phone dialing 1-877-423-9813 or, for international callers, 1-201-689-8573 and requesting to be joined to the U.S. Xpress Fourth Quarter 2019 Earnings Conference Call. A replay will be available starting at 11:30 a.m. (Eastern Time) on February 6, 2020, and can be accessed by dialing 1-844-512-2921 or, for international callers, 1-412-317-6671. The passcode for the replay is 13698255. The replay will be available until 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Time) on February 13, 2020.

Interested investors and other parties may also listen to a simultaneous webcast of the conference call by logging onto the investor relations section of the Company’s website at investor.usxpress.com. The online replay will remain available for a limited time beginning immediately following the call. Supplementary information for the conference call will also be available on this website.

(1) Non-GAAP Financial Measures

In addition to our net income determined in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (‘‘GAAP’’), we evaluate operating performance using certain non-GAAP measures, including Adjusted Operating Ratio, Adjusted Operating Income, Adjusted Net Income Attributable to Controlling Interest, and Adjusted EPS (on a consolidated and, as applicable, segment basis). Management believes the use of non-GAAP measures assists investors and securities analysts in understanding the ongoing operating performance of our business by allowing more effective comparison between periods. Further, management uses non-GAAP Adjusted Operating Ratio, Adjusted Operating Income, Adjusted Net Income Attributable to Controlling Interest, and Adjusted EPS measures on a supplemental basis to remove items that may not be an indicator of performance from period-to-period. The non-GAAP information provided is used by our management and may not be comparable to similar measures disclosed by other companies. The non-GAAP measures used herein have limitations as analytical tools and should not be considered measures of income generated by our business or discretionary cash available to us to invest in the growth of our business. You should not consider the non-GAAP measures used herein in isolation or as substitutes for analysis of our results as reported under GAAP. Management compensates for these limitations by relying primarily on GAAP results and using non-GAAP financial measures on a supplemental basis.

Pursuant to the requirements of Regulation G and Regulation S-K, we have provided reconciliations of Adjusted Operating Ratio, Adjusted Operating Income, Adjusted Net Income Attributable to Controlling Interest, and Adjusted EPS to the most comparable GAAP financial measures at the end of this press release.

About U.S. Xpress Enterprises

Founded in 1985, U.S. Xpress Enterprises, Inc. is the nation’s fifth largest asset-based truckload carrier by revenue, providing services primarily throughout the United States. We offer customers a broad portfolio of services using our own truckload fleet and third-party carriers through our non-asset-based truck brokerage network. Our modern fleet of tractors is backed up by a team of committed professionals whose focus lies squarely on meeting the needs of our customers and our drivers.

Forward-Looking Statements

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, and such statements are subject to the safe harbor created by those sections and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. Such statements may be identified by their use of terms or phrases such as “expects,” “estimates,” “projects,” “believes,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “intends,” “outlook,” “strategy,” “target,” “optimistic,” “focus,” “continue,” “will,” “could,” “should,” “may,” and similar terms and phrases. In this press release, such statements may include, but are not limited to, statements in the “Outlook” section, statements regarding the freight environment, expected operating ratio or adjusted operating ratio, the expected impact of our driver, frictionless order and other initiatives, and any other statements concerning: any projections of earnings, revenues, cash flows, capital expenditures, or other financial items; any statement of plans, strategies, or objectives for future operations; any statements regarding future economic or industry conditions or performance; and any statements of belief and any statements of assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. Forward-looking statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of our management and are inherently subject to risks and uncertainties, some of which cannot be predicted or quantified, which could cause future events and actual results to differ materially from those set forth in, contemplated by, or underlying the forward-looking statements. The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements: general economic conditions, including inflation and consumer spending; political conditions and regulations, including future changes thereto; changes in tax laws or in their interpretations and changes in tax rates; future insurance and claims experience, including adverse changes in claims experience and loss development factors, or additional changes in management’s estimates of liability based upon such experience and development factors that cause our expectations of insurance and claims expense to be inaccurate or otherwise impacts our results; impact of pending or future legal proceedings; future market for used revenue equipment and real estate; future revenue equipment prices; future capital expenditures, including equipment purchasing and leasing plans and equipment turnover (including expected trade-ins); fleet age; future depreciation and amortization; changes in management’s estimates of the need for new tractors and trailers; future ability to generate sufficient cash from operations and obtain financing on favorable terms to meet our significant ongoing capital requirements; our ability to maintain compliance with the provisions of our credit agreement; freight environment, including freight demand, rates, capacity, and volumes; future asset utilization; loss of one or more of our major customers; our ability to renew dedicated service offering contracts on the terms and schedule we expect; surplus inventories, recessionary economic cycles, and downturns in customers’ business cycles; strikes, work slowdowns, or work stoppages at the Company, customers, ports, or other shipping related facilities; increases or rapid fluctuations in fuel prices, as well as fluctuations in surcharge collection, including, but not limited to, changes in customer fuel surcharge policies and increases in fuel surcharge bases by customers; interest rates, fuel taxes, tolls, and license and registration fees; increases in compensation for and difficulty in attracting and retaining qualified professional drivers and independent contractors; seasonal factors such as harsh weather conditions that increase operating costs; competition from trucking, rail, intermodal, and brokerage (including digital brokerage) competitors; regulatory requirements that increase costs, decrease efficiency, or reduce the availability of drivers, including revised hours-of-service requirements for drivers and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability program that implemented new driver standards and modified the methodology for determining a carrier’s Department of Transportation safety rating; future safety performance; our ability to reduce, or control increases in, operating costs; future third-party service provider relationships and availability; execution of the Company’s current business strategy or changes in the Company’s business strategy; the ability of the Company’s infrastructure to support future organic or inorganic growth; our ability to identify acceptable acquisition candidates, consummate acquisitions, and integrate acquired operations; in relation to exiting our fixed cost investment in U.S.-Mexico cross border business, the actual costs of severance, leased vehicle turn-in, equipment repositioning, and other expenses associated with exiting the operations; the impact of supply and demand on availability and pricing of replacement loads for tractors in our U.S. network; the prices obtained for assets being disposed of; and the timing and amount of deferred consideration collected; our ability to adapt to changing market conditions and technologies; disruptions to our information technology; the cost of and our ability to effectively and efficiently implement technology initiatives; costs, diversion of management’s attention, and potential payments made in connection with the multiple class action lawsuits arising out of our IPO; and our ability to remediate several outstanding material weaknesses. Readers should review and consider these factors along with the various disclosures by the Company in its press releases, stockholder reports, and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We disclaim any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect actual results or changes in the factors affecting the forward-looking information.

Condensed Consolidated Income Statements (unaudited)

Quarter Ended December 31,

 

Year Ended December 31,

(in thousands, except per share data)

2019

 

2018

 

2019

 

2018

Operating Revenue:
Revenue, excluding fuel surcharge

$

405,288

 

$

422,530

 

$

1,538,450

 

$

1,622,083

 

Fuel surcharge

 

44,345

 

 

46,692

 

 

168,911

 

 

182,832

 

Total operating revenue

 

449,633

 

 

469,222

 

 

1,707,361

 

 

1,804,915

 

Operating Expenses:
Salaries, wages and benefits

 

140,914

 

 

135,252

 

 

530,885

 

 

535,994

 

Fuel and fuel taxes

 

48,062

 

 

54,009

 

 

189,800

 

 

227,525

 

Vehicle rents

 

23,039

 

 

19,727

 

 

80,064

 

 

78,639

 

Depreciation and amortization, net of (gain) loss

 

19,839

 

 

24,558

 

 

94,337

 

 

97,954

 

Purchased transportation

 

132,572

 

 

131,756

 

 

481,589

 

 

481,945

 

Operating expense and supplies

 

30,956

 

 

28,662

 

 

118,394

 

 

118,064

 

Insurance premiums and claims

 

25,770

 

 

20,612

 

 

88,959

 

 

85,075

 

Operating taxes and licenses

 

3,737

 

 

3,701

 

 

13,849

 

 

14,133

 

Communications and utilities

 

2,269

 

 

2,426

 

 

8,928

 

 

9,575

 

Gain on sale of subsidiary

 

(161

)

 

 

 

(831

)

 

 

Impairment of assets held for sale

 

 

 

10,693

 

 

 

 

10,693

 

General and other operating

 

21,273

 

 

16,684

 

 

75,317

 

 

66,412

 

Total operating expenses

 

448,270

 

 

448,080

 

 

1,681,291

 

 

1,726,009

 

Operating Income

 

1,363

 

 

21,142

 

 

26,070

 

 

78,906

 

Other Expenses (Income):
Interest Expense, net

 

5,269

 

 

5,095

 

 

21,635

 

 

34,866

 

Early extinguishment of debt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7,753

 

Equity in loss of affiliated companies

 

6,793

 

 

131

 

 

7,063

 

 

381

 

Other, net

 

 

 

101

 

 

26

 

 

136

 

Impairment in equity method investments

 

 

 

1,804

 

 

 

 

1,804

 

 

12,062

 

 

7,131

 

 

28,724

 

 

44,940

 

Income (Loss) Before Income Taxes

 

(10,699

)

 

14,011

 

 

(2,654

)

 

33,966

 

Income Tax Provision (Benefit)

 

(1,114

)

 

6,779

 

 

389

 

 

7,860

 

Net Income (Loss)

 

(9,585

)

 

7,232

 

 

(3,043

)

 

26,106

 

Net Income (Loss) attributable to non-controlling interest

 

9

 

 

235

 

 

604

 

 

1,207

 

Net Income (Loss) attributable to controlling interest

$

(9,594

)

$

6,997

 

$

(3,647

)

$

24,899

 

 
Income (Loss) Per Share
Basic earnings (losses) per share

$

(0.20

)

$

0.14

 

$

(0.07

)

$

0.84

 

Basic weighted average shares outstanding

 

49,022

 

 

48,319

 

 

48,788

 

 

29,470

 

Diluted earnings (losses) per share

$

(0.20

)

$

0.14

 

$

(0.07

)

$

0.83

 

Diluted weighted average shares outstanding

 

49,022

 

 

49,466

 

 

48,788

 

 

30,133

 

Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets (unaudited)

December 31,

 

December 31,

(in thousands)

2019

 

2018

Assets
Current assets:
Cash and cash equivalents

$

5,687

 

$

9,892

 

Customer receivables, net of allowance of $63 and $59, respectively

 

183,706

 

 

190,254

 

Other receivables

 

15,253

 

 

20,430

 

Prepaid insurance and licenses

 

11,326

 

 

11,035

 

Operating supplies

 

7,193

 

 

7,324

 

Assets held for sale

 

17,732

 

 

33,225

 

Other current assets

 

15,831

 

 

13,374

 

Total current assets

 

256,728

 

 

285,534

 

Property and equipment, at cost

 

880,101

 

 

898,530

 

Less accumulated depreciation and amortization

 

(388,318

)

 

(379,813

)

Net property and equipment

 

491,783

 

 

518,717

 

Other assets:
Operating lease right-of-use assets

 

276,618

 

 

 

Goodwill

 

57,708

 

 

57,708

 

Intangible assets, net

 

27,214

 

 

28,913

 

Other

 

30,058

 

 

19,615

 

Total other assets

 

391,598

 

 

106,236

 

Total assets

$

1,140,109

 

$

910,487

 

Liabilities and Stockholders’ Equity
Current liabilities:
Accounts payable

$

68,918

 

$

63,808

 

Book overdraft

 

1,313

 

 

 

Accrued wages and benefits

 

24,110

 

 

24,960

 

Claims and insurance accruals

 

51,910

 

 

47,442

 

Other accrued liabilities

 

9,127

 

 

8,120

 

Liabilities associated with assets held for sale

 

 

 

6,856

 

Current portion of operating leases

 

69,866

 

 

 

Current maturities of long-term debt and finance leases

 

80,247

 

 

113,094

 

Total current liabilities

 

305,491

 

 

264,280

 

Long-term debt and finance leases, net of current maturities

 

315,797

 

 

312,819

 

Less debt issuance costs

 

(1,223

)

 

(1,347

)

Net long-term debt and finance leases

 

314,574

 

 

311,472

 

Deferred income taxes

 

20,692

 

 

19,978

 

Long term liabilities associated with assets held for sale

 

 

 

8,353

 

Other long-term liabilities

 

5,249

 

 

7,713

 

Claims and insurance accruals, long-term

 

56,910

 

 

60,304

 

Noncurrent operating lease liability

 

206,357

 

 

 

Commitments and contingencies

 

 

 

 

Stockholders’ Equity:
Common Stock

 

490

 

 

484

 

Additional paid-in capital

 

250,700

 

 

251,742

 

Accumulated deficit

 

(20,982

)

 

(17,335

)

Stockholders’ equity

 

230,208

 

 

234,891

 

Noncontrolling interest

 

628

 

 

3,496

 

Total stockholders’ equity

 

230,836

 

 

238,387

 

Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity

$

1,140,109

 

$

910,487

 

Contacts

U.S. Xpress Enterprises, Inc.

Brian Baubach

Sr. Vice President Corporate Finance and Investor Relations

investors@usxpress.com

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