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Did Werner Enterprises Surpass Analysts’ Estimates in 4Q17?

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Werner’s 4Q17 revenue

In 4Q17, Werner Enterprises (WERN) reported revenue of $567.4 million. The company beat Thomson Reuters–surveyed analysts’ consensus revenue estimate of $553.8 million by 2.4%.

On a YoY (year-over-year) basis, WERN’s 4Q17 revenue was 9.4% higher than its revenue of $518.8 million in 4Q16.

A quick look at the above chart suggests that Werner’s 4Q17 revenue growth of 9.4% was its highest in the last eight quarters. In fact, analysts also expect double-digit revenue growth for the company until 3Q18.

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4Q17 revenue breakup

Werner Enterprises operates in two reportable segments, namely the Truckload Transportation segment and the Werner Logistics segment. WERN’s trucking revenue net of fuel surcharges was $374.8 million in 4Q17, a rise of 8% compared to $347.5 million in 4Q16. Werner Logistics segment’s revenue rose 5% to $112.4 million in the quarter compared to $107.1 million in 4Q16.

In 4Q17, WERN’s average revenue per tractor per week jumped 4.1% compared to 4Q16. This rise was the result of a 4.7% rise in average revenue per total mile and a 0.6% reduction in average miles per truck. The company noted that business growth in shorter-haul dedicated services compared to longer-haul one-way services positively impacted its revenue per total mile. However, this growth had a negative impact on its miles per truck.

Management outlook for 2018

Werner Enterprises noted that freight demand in its one-way truckload fleet was robust in 4Q17. The company saw demand consolidation in November and December 2017. It expects better freight volumes YoY in 1Q18. WERN expressed confidence in the overall freight environment, saying, “Freight metrics are improving, and we have increasing confidence that contractual rates will strengthen over the next few quarters.”

Peer group revenue in 4Q17

Among Werner’s major truckload (XLI) carrier peers, J.B. Hunt Transport (JBHT) registered a 15.6% rise in its 4Q17 revenue to ~$2.0 billion. Heartland Express (HTLD) is expected to report its 4Q17 earnings on February 21, 2018. Another truckload carrier, Marten Transport (MRTN) recorded a ~6% rise in its 4Q17 revenue to $182.7 million.

In the next article, we’ll go through Werner’s operating margins for 4Q17.

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