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ArcBest Corporation® Announces First Quarter 2016 Results

- First quarter 2016 revenue of $621.5 million and a net loss of $6.1 million, or $0.24 per share. Excluding certain identified items, a first quarter 2016 net loss of $5.9 million, or $0.23 per share.- First quarter ABF Freight® operating results were impacted by reduced revenues combined with higher costs associated with handling additional shipments. ABF Freight's operating ratio was impacted by 0.7 percent associated with unfavorable workers' compensation and casualty claims experience.- ArcBest's asset-light logistics revenue now represents nearly one-third of total revenue.

FORT SMITH, Ark., April 29, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- ArcBest Corporation [®] ARCB today reported a first quarter 2016 net loss of $6.1 million, or $0.24 per share, compared to first quarter 2015 net income of $0.7 million, or $0.03 per share, reflecting a sluggish and inconsistent industrial and manufacturing economic environment. From a longer-term perspective, investments are continuing in sales, customer service, equipment and information technology for ABF Freight and the asset-light logistics businesses in order to take advantage of growth opportunities with new and existing customers while improving operating efficiencies. Revenue growth in those asset-light businesses reflects the positive effects of the recent Bear Transportation acquisition. Continued success in the strategy of collaboration across the ArcBest enterprise contributed to load count increases at both Panther and ABF Logistics [®] .

Excluding certain items in both periods, ArcBest's non-GAAP net loss was $5.9 million, or $0.23 per share, in first quarter 2016 compared to earnings of $1.0 million, or $0.04 per share, last year. Operating results were impacted by a $0.07 per share increase in self-insurance expense at ABF Freight versus the prior-year period.

"Ongoing economic weakness continued to impact our business, consistent with trends that began in the fall of 2015," said ArcBest Chairman, President and CEO Judy R. McReynolds. "We are encouraged by the on-going stability in LTL pricing and by the positive reception our customers have to the expanding array of services we offer in helping them better manage their complex supply chain issues."

Freight Transportation (ABF Freight)

Results of Operations

First Quarter 2016

  • Revenue of $439.5 million compared to $441.2 million in first quarter 2015, a per-day decrease of 2.0 percent. ABF Freight's revenue comparison was impacted by lower fuel surcharges attributable to the significant year-over-year decrease in diesel fuel prices.
  • Tonnage per day decrease of 0.9 percent compared to first quarter 2015.
  • Total billed revenue per hundredweight decreased 1.2 percent compared to the prior year reflecting lower fuel surcharges. Excluding fuel surcharge, the percentage increase on ABF Freight's traditional LTL freight was in the low-single digits.
  • An operating loss of $9.0 million and an operating ratio of 102.1 percent compared to breakeven operating income in first quarter 2015. Excluding adjustments for nonunion pension settlement charges, an operating loss of $8.3 million and an operating ratio of 101.9 percent. First quarter 2016 results included a $2.9 million increase in workers' compensation and casualty claims expense versus the prior-year period.

In addition to the fuel impact, ABF Freight's first quarter revenue decline was due to reduced freight tonnage levels associated with weak U.S. manufacturing; high customer inventory levels and excess industry capacity available to move larger-sized shipments. While total quarterly revenue was lower, ABF Freight's two percent daily shipment count increase caused the need for additional labor and freight handling resources in order to maintain customer service. Typically, lower business levels and customer mix changes reduce first quarter resource utilization resulting in a higher portion of ABF Freight's cost structure being fixed in nature, relative to the seasonally stronger period in the remainder of the year. ABF Freight's account pricing remains solid, considering the current freight environment. Maintenance costs are beginning to reflect the benefits of new equipment purchases made in 2015 and in early 2016. ABF Freight's first quarter 2016 workers' compensation and third-party casualty claims costs were significantly above ten-year historical averages reflecting both an increase in the number and severity of claims. Despite the inclusion of these unusually higher self-insurance costs, ABF Freight's first quarter operating ratio, relative to the fourth quarter, was in-line with the average of recent years.

Asset-Light Logistics

Results of Operations

First Quarter 2016

  • Revenue of $194.7 million compared to $183.7 million in first quarter 2015.
  • Asset-light revenue equaled 31 percent of total consolidated revenue, compared to 29 percent during the same period last year.
  • First quarter 2016 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization ("EBITDA") of $4.9 million compared to EBITDA in the first quarter of 2015 of $6.6 million.

During the first quarter, ArcBest's total asset-light revenue increase was driven by ABF Logistics' December 2015 brokerage acquisition and new customers at FleetNet America [®] . Though, as expected during integration, the Bear Transportation acquisition was not accretive to ArcBest's first quarter results, it is providing additional brokerage revenue and shipments and its integration is on schedule. By providing solutions to customers' logistics challenges, the asset-light businesses continued to generate solid growth in shipments and business levels during the first quarter. However, revenue per shipment for ABF Logistics and Panther was suppressed by the effect of lower fuel prices and the impact of excess, available truckload capacity in the spot market. In addition, continued changes in the year-over-year business mix of Panther's shipments have resulted in shorter average lengths of haul and the need for a higher proportion of smaller cargo vans and straight trucks and fewer tractor trailers. This change in business mix has contributed to lower revenue and profit margin, on a per-shipment basis, compared to the prior year quarter. ABF Moving, which typically experiences its lowest operating results in the first quarter, reported lower revenue versus last year primarily due to fewer government shipments despite increased consumer and corporate business levels.

Conference Call

ArcBest Corporation will host a conference call with company executives to discuss the 2016 first quarter results. The call will be today, Friday, April 29, at 9:30 a.m. ET (8:30 a.m. CT). Interested parties are invited to listen by calling (888) 223-4508. Following the call, a recorded playback will be available through the end of the day on June 15, 2016. To listen to the playback, dial (800) 633-8284 or (402) 977-9140 (for international callers). The conference call ID for the playback is 21809359. The conference call and playback can also be accessed, through June 15, 2016, on ArcBest's website at

About ArcBest

ArcBest Corporation [®] ARCB solves complex logistics and transportation challenges. Our companies and brands – ABF Freight [®] , ABF Logistics [®] , Panther Premium Logistics [®] , FleetNet America [®] , U-Pack [®] and ArcBest Technologies – apply the skill and the will with every shipment and supply chain solution, household move or vehicle repair. ArcBest finds a way.

For more information, visit,,, and ArcBest Corporation [®] . The Skill & The Will [®] .

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements and information in this press release concerning results for the three months ended March 31, 2016 may constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Terms such as "anticipate," "believe," "could," "estimate," "expect," "forecast," "foresee," "intend," "may," "plan," "predict," "project," "scheduled," "should," "would" and similar expressions and the negatives of such terms are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on management's belief, assumptions and expectations as of the date hereof, and not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks and uncertainties (some of which are beyond our control). Although management believes that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable as and when made, there can be no assurance our expectations will prove to be correct. Actual outcomes and results could materially differ from what is expressed, implied, or forecasted in these statements due to a number of factors, including, but not limited to: a failure of our information systems, including disruptions or failures of services essential to our operations or upon which our information technology platforms rely, data breach, and/or cybersecurity incidents; union and nonunion employee wages and benefits, including changes in required contributions to multiemployer plans; competitive initiatives and pricing pressures; governmental regulations; environmental laws and regulations, including emissions-control regulations; the cost, integration, and performance of any future acquisitions; relationships with employees, including unions, and our ability to attract and retain employees and/or independent owner operators; unfavorable terms of, or the inability to reach agreement on, future collective bargaining agreements or a workforce stoppage by our employees covered under ABF Freight's...