A stormy start to 2014 for Werner Enterprises, but forecast is brighter

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Posted: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 12:00 am

Disruptive weather in the first quarter dampened profits at Werner Enterprises Inc., but trucking industry analysts anticipate better-than-expected freight rates through 2014 because of it.

Sarpy County-based Werner reported profits of $14.3 million, or 20 cents per share, through the first quarter of 2014. That's a decrease of 18 percent from year-ago levels of $17.5 million, or 24 cents per share. Total revenues were flat at $492 million.

Ben Hartford, an industry analyst with Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc., said the hit to profits is nothing to be alarmed about.

“I think an outcome of some of the weather and resulting capacity shortages across the U.S. is resulting in rate growth for these carriers that is trending better than what was expected,” Hartford said.

Rates are growing at about 3 percent to 4 percent currently, Hartford said, compared with previous forecasts of 1 percent to 2 percent growth.

Werner also reported that average revenues per total mile were up 3.1 percent over the same period a year ago. In addition, the company improved its average percentage of empty miles by more than 8 percent year-over-year.

Severe weather that hampered shipping across the U.S. in early 2014 dragged on the profits of other transportation companies during the first quarter. Rail and trucking giant CSX Corp. reported a 14 percent decline in profits compared with a year ago, and J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. reported a 6 percent decline in profits year-over-year.


SAN FRANCISCO — Netflix is preparing to raise its Internet video subscription prices by as much as $2 per month this summer to help pay for more programming such as its popular political drama “House of Cards.”

The price increase will be imposed on new customers by July. The company says current U.S. subscribers will continue to pay $8 per month for a “generous time period.”

Netflix announced the price increase as part of its first-quarter earnings released Monday.

Investors evidently liked the move. The company's stock surged 6 percent in extended trading after the results came out.

Netflix Inc. earned $53 million, or 86 cents per share, during the first three months of the year. That compared with $2.7 million, or 5 cents, last year.

Revenue rose 24 percent to $1.3 billion. — AP


DALLAS — Halliburton made money in the first quarter on rising revenue in the Middle East and Asia.

Earnings and revenue topped expectations and Halliburton reversed course after a loss a year ago, when results were hurt by charges related to the huge 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Halliburton Co. shares rose $1.72, or 2.8 percent, to $62.62 in afternoon trading after hitting an all-time high of $63.88 earlier in the day.

Halliburton reported first-quarter net income of $622 million, or 73 cents per share. Revenue rose 5 percent to $7.35 billion from $6.97 billion a year ago.— AP


PAWTUCKET, R.I. — Hasbro returned to profitability in its first quarter, driven by sales of girls' toys such as My Little Pony and Nerf Rebelle. The prior-year results were dragged down by restructuring charges.

Its latest earnings topped Wall Street estimates, but revenue was short of what analysts expected.

The Pawtucket, R.I.-based company earned $32.1 million, or 24 cents per share, for the period ended March 30. That compares with a loss of $6.7 million, or 5 cents per share, a year earlier.

Stripping out favorable tax adjustments of 10 cents per share, earnings were 14 cents per share.— AP

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