Werner’s net income falls; soft demand, weather cited

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Posted: Friday, April 19, 2013 12:00 am

Werner Enterprises on Thursday announced an 18 percent decline in net income, marking a drop in the company’s net income for the third consecutive quarter.

The Sarpy County-based transportation and logistics firm’s net income in the first quarter decreased to $17.5million, or 24 cents per share, down from $21.2 million, or 29 cents per share. The company’s revenue was $492.9 million, down 1 percent from $498.4 million last year.

The company said freight demand followed typical seasonal patterns but was softer compared with this time last year. Werner said that severe winter weather in the first three months of 2013 also had a modest negative impact on truck productivity and caused “somewhat higher” operating costs this quarter.

A positive in the company’s earnings was Werner’s revenue from value-added services — including brokerage, freight management and international logistics operations — which increased 6 percent to $82.5 million from $77.5 million.

During the first quarter, the company’s value-added services “implemented a new customer business award involving all four value-added service operating units and began managing shipments.” The company said it continues to focus on value-added services, an expanding area of the business.

Werner said driver recruitment and retention became more challenging during the quarter. Contributing factors included fewer and more competition for driver training school graduates, the declining national unemployment rate and the strengthening housing construction market.

Contact the writer: 402-444-1192, emily.nohr@owh.com

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