SOURCE: Five Star Equities

Five Star Equities

April 30, 2012 08:20 ET

Pace of Freight Tonnage Slows Down in 2012

Five Star Equities Provides Stock Research on Old Dominion Freight Line and Arkansas Best Corporation

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Apr 30, 2012) - The Trucking Industry struggles look to continue in 2012. The American Trucking Association recently stated that the industry is expected to haul more freight than last year, but the pace of growth would most likely be slower than in 2010 and 2011. "March tonnage, and the first quarter overall, was reflective of an economy that is growing, but growing moderately," ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said in a release. "The pace of freight definitely slowed from the torrid pace in late 2011." Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Trucking Industry and provides equity research on Old Dominion Freight Line (NASDAQ: ODFL) and Arkansas Best Corporation (NASDAQ: ABFS).

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The ATA last week reported that the Truck Tonnage Index rose 0.2 percent in March, a decline from the 0.5 percent in February. The index when compared with March 2011 rose 2.7 percent, which makes it the smallest year-over-year-increase since December 2009. According to Costello economic indicators show tonnage will increase going forward but not at the pace of the past two years (5.8 percent). "Expect tonnage overall this year to be up at a more moderate rate, perhaps less than 3%, which is more in-line with normal growth," stated Costello.

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Old Dominion is a less-than-truckload (LTL) motor carrier providing regional, inter-regional and national LTL service and logistics services. In addition to its LTL services, the Company offers its customers a range of logistics services, including ground and air expedited transportation, supply chain consulting, transportation management, truckload brokerage, container delivery and warehousing services. The company was recently downgraded to market perform from outperform by analysts at Raymond James.

Arkansas Best recently reported first quarter 2012 net loss of $18.2 million, or $0.71 per share, compared to a net loss of $12.8 million, or $0.51 per share in the same quarter a year earlier. This makes it two quarters in a row that the company has come in under analysts' estimates. The company had reported three straight quarters with profits previously.

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