SOURCE: Five Star Equities

Five Star Equities

May 22, 2012 08:20 ET

Trucking Industry Showing Signs of Recovery but Still Has a Long Way to Go

Five Star Equities Provides Stock Research on Con-way and J.B. Hunt Transport Services

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - May 22, 2012) - The Trucking Industry has been experiencing a "good" recovery recently according to FTR Associates Senior Consultant Noel Perry. The relationship between gross domestic product (GDP) and freight is one of the main factors driving FTR's confidence in 2012. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Trucking Industry and provides equity research on Con-way Inc. (NYSE: CNW) and J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: JBHT).

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"Because GDP is back up above 2%, we should be generating pretty good freight growth. As GDP recovers right now, we would expect a freight bonanza that comes from that would be a quarter or two later." Even with the expected freight growth, the industry is still far from recovery in regards to truckloads, which in 2006 was at a high of 200 million a year and in 2009 dropped to 158 million.

"In the first quarter of 2012, we're only about 40% recovered back to previous peak," Perry said. "This says something fundamental about the need for fixed infrastructure and fixed investment in transportation. We won't get to a new peak until at least 2015, and that assumes we have no recession out there. If we get a recession, which I think we will mid-decade, we could not get to a new peak in trucking or rail perhaps until the end of the decade."

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Con-way Inc. recently reported 2012 first-quarter net income of $25.6 million, or 46 cents per diluted share. The results compare to first-quarter 2011 net income of $6.9 million, or 12 cents per diluted share. "Our strategy is yielding favorable results," said Douglas W. Stotlar, Con-way's president and chief executive officer. "Our first quarter performance reflected disciplined operations which led to improvement at all business units."

J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc., one of the largest transportation logistics companies in North America, provides safe and reliable transportation services to a diverse group of customers throughout the continental United States, Canada and Mexico. The company last month reported record first quarter 2012 net earnings of $67.7 million compared to first quarter 2011 net earnings of $50.0 million.

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