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Werner Enterprises Reports Third Quarter 2015 Revenues and Record Third Quarter Earnings

October, 20, 2015

OMAHA, Neb.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Werner Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ: WERN), one of the nation's largest transportation and logistics companies, reported revenues and earnings for the third quarter ended September 30, 2015.

Summarized financial results for third quarter and year-to-date 2015 compared to third quarter and year-to-date 2014 are as follows (dollars in thousands, except per share data):

         

Three Months Ended
September 30,

Nine Months Ended
September 30,

2015   2014 % Change 2015   2014 % Change
Total revenues $ 534,448 $ 551,961 (3)% $ 1,564,746 $ 1,586,103 (1)%
Trucking revenues, net of fuel surcharge 360,124 334,520

8 %

1,042,309 978,067

7 %

Value Added Services (“VAS”) revenues 102,149 106,490 (4)% 296,459 292,145

1 %

Operating income 52,800 41,690

27 %

143,195 107,461

33 %

Net income 32,076 25,970

24 %

87,066 65,941

32 %

Earnings per diluted share 0.44 0.36

23 %

1.20 0.91

32 %

 

During third quarter 2015, we accrued a total of $3.9 million of expense ($2.4 million after tax), or three cents per share, related to a class action suit involving an employment-related claim and a separation agreement for an executive resignation previously disclosed in third quarter 2015.

Freight demand in third quarter 2015 and so far in October 2015 has been similar to historical standards and not as strong as the robust freight market during the same periods in 2014.

Constrained truck capacity combined with a gradually improving economy in the retail, consumer products and grocery products markets primarily served by us are contributing to freight demand trends. Truckload industry capacity is challenged by an extremely competitive driver recruiting market and heightened regulatory cost increases for safety and truck ownership. We expect this favorable trend will continue. There are numerous pending and proposed federal safety initiatives that could further limit truckload and driver capacity in the next few years, including mandatory electronic logging devices (ELD’s), a national drug and alcohol driver database, increased minimum liability insurance requirements for carriers, more sophisticated drug screening procedures for drivers and mandatory truck speed limiter devices. It is expected that the final rule for ELD’s will be issued in fourth quarter 2015.

Average revenues per tractor per week, net of fuel surcharge, increased 2.1% in third quarter 2015 compared to third quarter 2014. Third quarter 2014 average revenues per tractor per week were 7.4% higher than third quarter 2013. Our continued focus on securing driver friendly, highly productive freight and improved freight selection using our proprietary freight optimization system enabled us to essentially maintain our average miles per truck in a freight market that is not as stellar as third quarter 2014. Our average miles per truck declined slightly by 0.7% in third quarter 2015 compared to third quarter 2014.

Average revenues per total mile, net of fuel surcharge, increased 2.8% in third quarter 2015 compared to third quarter 2014, despite a 49 basis point increase in the empty mile percentage from 12.04% to 12.53%. Our average length of haul in third quarter 2015 was 2% higher than third quarter 2014.

We are making continued progress implementing sustainable rate increases with our customers. These efforts are ongoing as we move forward and work to recoup the cost increases associated with more expensive equipment, a shrinking supply of qualified drivers and an increasingly challenging regulatory environment. Strategic customers understand the collective capacity and service challenges facing our company and our industry and are supportive of Werner's ongoing initiatives to provide sustainable transportation solutions in support of their supply chain needs.

In third quarter 2015, we averaged 7,355 trucks in service in the Truckload segment and 60 intermodal drayage trucks in the VAS segment. Following an ongoing and intense company-wide focus to improve our driver recruiting and retention, we ended third quarter 2015 with 7,415 trucks in the Truckload segment, a sequential improvement of 140 trucks compared to the end of second quarter 2015 and a year-over-year improvement of 355 trucks compared to the end of third quarter 2014. Our Specialized Services unit, primarily Dedicated, ended the quarter with 3,710 trucks (or 50% of our total Truckload segment fleet).

Diesel fuel prices were $1.25 per gallon lower in third quarter 2015 than in third quarter 2014 and were 26 cents per gallon lower than in second quarter 2015. For the first 20 days of October 2015, the average diesel fuel price per gallon was $1.00 lower than the average diesel fuel price per gallon in the same period of 2014 and 79 cents lower than in fourth quarter 2014. The components of the Company's total fuel cost consist of and are recorded in our income statement as follows: (i) Fuel (fuel expense for company trucks excluding federal and state fuel taxes); (ii) Taxes and Licenses (federal and state fuel taxes); and (iii) Rent and Purchased Transportation (fuel component of our independent contractor costs, including the base cost of fuel and additional fuel surcharge reimbursement for costs exceeding the fuel base).

The significantly lower fuel prices in third quarter 2015 compared to third quarter 2014 primarily caused a reduction in fuel surcharge revenues by $36 million in the Truckload segment and revenues by an estimated $7 million in the VAS segment. This had the effect of reducing total consolidated revenues by an estimated 8 percentage points in third quarter 2015 compared to third quarter 2014.

We continue to invest in equipment solutions to improve the driver experience, raise operational efficiency and better manage maintenance and safety costs. We increased our capital expenditures in the last 12 months to lower the average age of our truck fleet and attained an average age of 1.9 years as of September 30, 2015, which compares to an average age of 2.3 years as of September 30, 2014. Net capital expenditures in the first nine months of 2015 were $251 million compared to $147 million in the first nine months of 2014. We estimate net capital expenditures for the full year of 2015 to be in the range of $300 to $325 million. We remain committed to investing in a best in class fleet for the benefit of our customers, our drivers and the Werner brand.

The driver recruiting market remained very challenging during third quarter 2015. Several difficult market factors persist including a declining number of, and increased competition for, driver training school graduates, a gradually declining national unemployment rate, aging truck driver demographics and increased truck safety regulations.

Gains on sales of assets were $6.7 million in third quarter 2015, including a $0.7 million gain from a real estate sale. This compares to gains on sales of assets of $4.5 million in third quarter 2014 and gains on sales of assets of $6.7 million in second quarter 2015. In third quarter 2015, we sold more trucks and trailers than in third quarter 2014. We realized lower average gains per truck and higher average gains per trailer in third quarter 2015 compared to third quarter 2014. Gains on sales of assets are reflected as a reduction of Other Operating Expenses in our income statement.

To provide shippers with additional sources of managed capacity and network analysis, we continue to develop our non-asset-based VAS segment. VAS includes Brokerage, Freight Management, Intermodal and Werner Global Logistics (International).

     
Three Months Ended
September 30,
Nine Months Ended
September 30,
2015   2014 2015   2014

Value Added Services (amounts in thousands)

$   % $   % $   % $   %
Operating revenues $ 102,149 100.0 $ 106,490 100.0 $ 296,459 100.0 $ 292,145 100.0
Rent and purchased transportation expense   86,085   84.3   93,762   88.0   251,406   84.8   253,525   86.8
Gross margin 16,064 15.7 12,728 12.0 45,053 15.2 38,620 13.2
Other operating expenses   11,043   10.8   11,706   11.0   32,579   11.0   33,488   11.4
Operating income $ 5,021   4.9 $ 1,022   1.0 $ 12,474   4.2 $ 5,132   1.8
 

In third quarter 2015, VAS revenues decreased $4.3 million or 4%, and operating income dollars increased $4.0 million or 391%, compared to third quarter 2014. Adjusting for lower fuel prices that reduced operating revenues by an estimated $7 million, operating revenues would have increased 3%. The VAS gross margin percentage in third quarter 2015 of 15.7% improved year over year compared to the gross margin percentage of 12.0% in third quarter 2014. The VAS operating income percentage in third quarter 2015 of 4.9% improved from third quarter 2014 of 1.0%.

Comparisons of the operating ratios for the Truckload segment (net of fuel surcharge revenues of $52.4 million and $88.8 million in third quarters 2015 and 2014, respectively, and $167.2 million and $268.6 million in the year-to-date 2015 and 2014 periods, respectively) and the VAS segment are shown below.

       
Three Months Ended
September 30,
Nine Months Ended
September 30,

Operating Ratios

2015   2014 Difference 2015   2014 Difference
Truckload Transportation Services 86.7 % 88.5 % (1.8)% 87.5 % 90.1 % (2.6)%
Value Added Services 95.1 % 99.0 % (3.9)% 95.8 % 98.2 % (2.4)%
 

Fluctuating fuel prices and fuel surcharge revenues impact the total company operating ratio and the Truckload segment's operating ratio when fuel surcharges are reported on a gross basis as revenues versus netting against fuel expenses. Eliminating fuel surcharge revenues, which are generally a more volatile source of revenue, provides a more consistent basis for comparing the results of operations from period to period. The Truckload segment's operating ratios for third quarter 2015 and third quarter 2014 are 88.3% and 90.9%, respectively, and for year-to-date 2015 and 2014 are 89.2% and 92.2%, respectively, when fuel surcharge revenues are reported as revenues instead of a reduction of operating expenses.

Our financial position remains strong. As of September 30, 2015, we had $75.0 million of debt outstanding and $903.2 million of stockholders' equity.

 
INCOME STATEMENT
(Unaudited)
(In thousands, except per share amounts)
         
Three Months Ended
September 30,
Nine Months Ended
September 30,
2015   2014 2015 2014
$   % $   % $ % $ %
Operating revenues $ 534,448   100.0   $ 551,961   100.0   $ 1,564,746   100.0   $ 1,586,103   100.0  
Operating expenses:
Salaries, wages and benefits 167,301 31.3 149,206 27.0 479,142 30.6 428,425 27.0
Fuel 50,855 9.5 86,820 15.7 160,996 10.3 270,026 17.0
Supplies and maintenance 50,283 9.4 48,527 8.8 144,328 9.2 140,268 8.8
Taxes and licenses 22,616 4.2 21,420 3.9 66,459 4.3 63,563 4.0
Insurance and claims 17,372 3.3 19,789 3.6 60,034 3.8 59,175 3.7
Depreciation 49,081 9.2 44,182 8.0 143,065 9.1 131,878 8.3
Rent and purchased transportation 122,006 22.8 133,893 24.2 360,706 23.1 373,778 23.6
Communications and utilities 3,786 0.7 3,689 0.7 11,301 0.7 10,597 0.7
Other   (1,652 ) (0.3 )   2,745   0.5     (4,480 ) (0.3 )   932   0.1  
Total operating expenses   481,648   90.1     510,271   92.4     1,421,551   90.8     1,478,642   93.2  
Operating income   52,800   9.9     41,690   7.6     143,195   9.2     107,461   6.8  
Other expense (income):
Interest expense 511 0.1 140 1,569 0.1 370
Interest income (760 ) (0.1 ) (614 ) (2,088 ) (0.1 ) (1,929 ) (0.1 )
Other   32       43       257       2    
Total other expense (income)   (217 )     (431 )     (262 )     (1,557 ) (0.1 )
Income before income taxes 53,017 9.9 42,121 7.6 143,457 9.2 109,018 6.9
Income taxes   20,941   3.9     16,151   2.9     56,391   3.6     43,077   2.7  
Net income $ 32,076   6.0   $ 25,970   4.7   $ 87,066   5.6   $ 65,941   4.2  
 
Diluted shares outstanding   72,478     72,364     72,546     72,706  
Diluted earnings per share $ 0.44   $ 0.36   $ 1.20   $ 0.91  
 
 
SEGMENT INFORMATION
(Unaudited)
(In thousands)
     
Three Months Ended
September 30,
Nine Months Ended
September 30,
2015   2014 2015 2014

Revenues

Truckload Transportation Services $ 417,861 $ 428,619 $ 1,225,439 $ 1,261,194
Value Added Services 102,149 106,490 296,459 292,145
Other 14,087 16,868 41,996 33,115
Corporate   634     688     1,880     2,075  
Subtotal 534,731 552,665 1,565,774 1,588,529
Inter-segment eliminations (1)   (283 )   (704 )   (1,028 )   (2,426 )
Total $ 534,448   $ 551,961   $ 1,564,746   $ 1,586,103  
 

Operating Income

Truckload Transportation Services $ 48,747 $ 39,138 $ 131,901 $ 98,238
Value Added Services 5,021 1,022 12,474 5,132
Other (1,354 ) 404 (2,038 ) 1,245
Corporate   386     1,126     858     2,846  
Total $ 52,800   $ 41,690   $ 143,195   $ 107,461  
 
 

(1) Inter-segment eliminations represent transactions between reporting segments that are eliminated in consolidation.

 

 
OPERATING STATISTICS BY SEGMENT
(Unaudited)
       
Three Months Ended
September 30,
  Nine Months Ended
September 30,
2015   2014 % Change 2015 2014 % Change

Truckload Transportation Services segment

Average percentage of empty miles 12.53 % 12.04 % 4.1% 12.30 % 12.05 % 2.1%
Average trip length in miles (loaded) 483 475 1.7% 480 469 2.3%
Average tractors in service 7,355 6,974 5.5% 7,205 7,011 2.8%
Average revenues per tractor per week (1) $ 3,767 $ 3,690 2.1% $ 3,710 $ 3,577 3.7%
Total trailers (at quarter end) 22,495 22,005 22,495 22,005
Total tractors (at quarter end)
Company 6,710 6,395 6,710 6,395
Independent contractor   705     665     705     665  
Total tractors 7,415 7,060 7,415 7,060
 

Value Added Services segment

Average tractors in service 60 50 54 48
Total trailers (at quarter end) 1,405 1,750 1,405 1,750
Total tractors (at quarter end) 70 55 70 55
 

(1) Net of fuel surcharge revenues.

 

 
SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION
(Unaudited)
(In thousands)
     
Three Months Ended
September 30,
Nine Months Ended
September 30,
2015   2014 2015 2014
Capital expenditures, net $ 91,703 $ 84,032 $ 251,109 $ 146,839
Cash flow from operations 89,200 74,666 282,772 165,211
Return on assets (annualized) 8.2 % 7.4 % 7.6 % 6.4 %
Return on equity (annualized) 14.4 % 13.0 % 13.4 % 11.2 %
 
 
CONDENSED BALANCE SHEET
(In thousands, except share amounts)
   

September 30,
2015

December 31,
2014

(Unaudited)
 
ASSETS
Current assets:
Cash and cash equivalents $ 45,921 $ 22,604
Accounts receivable, trade, less allowance of $9,710 and $10,017, respectively 250,878 266,727
Other receivables 20,463 20,316
Inventories and supplies 16,355 17,824
Prepaid taxes, licenses and permits 6,974 14,914
Current deferred income taxes 29,541 34,066
Income taxes receivable 1,765 23,435
Other current assets   28,936     26,458  
Total current assets   400,833     426,344  
 
Property and equipment 1,885,532 1,786,229
Less – accumulated depreciation   761,200     772,447  
Property and equipment, net   1,124,332     1,013,782  
 
Other non-current assets   46,807     40,336  
Total assets $ 1,571,972   $ 1,480,462  
 
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY
Current liabilities:
Accounts payable $ 83,436 $ 64,827
Insurance and claims accruals 61,298 73,814
Accrued payroll 37,057 28,121
Other current liabilities   28,095     19,768  
Total current liabilities   209,886     186,530  
 
Long-term debt, net of current portion 75,000 75,000
Other long-term liabilities 21,073 20,021
Insurance and claims accruals, net of current portion 129,895 123,445
Deferred income taxes 232,878 241,606
 
Stockholders’ equity:

Common stock, $.01 par value, 200,000,000 shares authorized; 80,533,536

shares issued; 71,892,934 and 72,038,368 shares outstanding, respectively

805 805
Paid-in capital 104,619 101,803
Retained earnings 990,638 915,085
Accumulated other comprehensive loss (13,321 ) (9,375 )
Treasury stock, at cost; 8,640,602 and 8,495,168 shares, respectively   (179,501 )   (174,458 )
Total stockholders’ equity   903,240     833,860  
Total liabilities and stockholders' equity $ 1,571,972   $ 1,480,462  
 

Werner Enterprises, Inc. was founded in 1956 and is a premier transportation and logistics company, with coverage throughout North America, Asia, Europe, South America, Africa and Australia. Werner maintains its global headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska and maintains offices in the United States, Canada, Mexico, China and Australia. Werner is among the five largest truckload carriers in the United States, with a diversified portfolio of transportation services that includes dedicated van, temperature-controlled and flatbed; medium-to-long-haul, regional and local van; and expedited services. Werner's Value Added Services portfolio includes freight management, truck brokerage, intermodal, and international services. International services are provided through Werner's domestic and global subsidiary companies and include ocean, air and ground transportation; freight forwarding; and customs brokerage.

Werner Enterprises, Inc.'s common stock trades on The NASDAQ Global Select MarketSM under the symbol “WERN”. For further information about Werner, visit the Company's website at www.werner.com.

This press release may contain 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 made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. Such forward-looking statements are based on information presently available to the Company's management and are current only as of the date made. Actual results could also differ materially from those anticipated as a result of a number of factors, including, but not limited to, those discussed in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014.

For those reasons, undue reliance should not be placed on any forward-looking statement. The Company assumes no duty or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, although it may do so from time to time as management believes is warranted or as may be required by applicable securities law. Any such updates or revisions may be made by filing reports with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, through the issuance of press releases or by other methods of public disclosure.

Source: Werner Enterprises, Inc.

Werner Enterprises, Inc.

John J. Steele, 402-894-3036

Executive Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer

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