ArcBest Announces Third Quarter 2023 Results
ArcBest efficiently provided integrated logistics solutions to customers in a changing market
- Asset-Based operating ratio of 89.9 percent. On a non-GAAP basis, Asset-Based operating ratio of 88.8 percent, an improvement of 400 basis points versus second quarter 2023.
- Year-to-date, returned $85.5 million of capital to shareholders through common stock share repurchases and dividends
FORT SMITH, Ark. – (Trailer Technician) – ArcBest® (Nasdaq: ARCB), a leader in supply chain logistics, today reported third quarter 2023 revenue from continuing operations of $1.1 billion, compared to $1.3 billion in the third quarter of 2022. ArcBest’s third quarter 2023 operating income from continuing operations was $45.1 million, compared to $115.3 million in the third quarter of 2022, and net income from continuing operations was $34.9 million, or $1.42 per diluted share, compared to $88.6 million, or $3.49 per diluted share, in the prior-year period. ArcBest’s third quarter 2023 results were impacted by $30.2 million of noncash lease impairment charges with no comparable charges in the prior-year period.
Excluding certain items in both periods as identified in the attached reconciliation tables, third quarter 2023 non‑GAAP operating income from continuing operations was $74.7 million, compared to $130.6 million in the prior‑year period. On a non-GAAP basis, net income from continuing operations was $56.7 million, or $2.31 per diluted share, compared to $96.1 million, or $3.79 per diluted share, in third quarter 2022.
“At ArcBest, our ability to see the world through customers’ eyes has positioned our company as the partner of choice for integrated logistics solutions for 100 years,” said Judy R. McReynolds, ArcBest chairman, president and CEO. “Our success is underpinned by the ability to efficiently solve logistics challenges and help customers navigate market disruptions, rapidly changing economic conditions, and increased supply chain complexity.”
Third Quarter Results of Operations Comparisons
Third Quarter 2023 Versus Third Quarter 2022
- Revenue of $741.2 million compared to $791.5 million, a per-day decrease of 4.1 percent.
- Total tonnage per day decreased 6.3 percent; LTL-rated weight per shipment decreased 6.4 percent.
- Total shipments per day increased 1.5 percent.
- Total billed revenue per hundredweight increased 1.9 percent. Revenue per hundredweight on LTL-rated business, excluding fuel surcharge, increased by a percentage in the mid-single digits.
- Operating income of $74.8 million and an operating ratio of 89.9 percent compared to operating income of $109.3 million and an operating ratio of 86.2 percent. On a non-GAAP basis, operating income of $82.8 million and an operating ratio of 88.8 percent compared to operating income of $116.6 million and an operating ratio of 85.3 percent.
Compared to the prior-year period, third quarter revenue in ArcBest’s Asset-Based business declined due to a weaker logistics industry backdrop, including continued manufacturing sector contraction. However, this impact was somewhat offset by increased revenue from new shipments added as a result of recent market disruption associated with the third quarter bankruptcy of a major LTL competitor. Core, LTL-rated average daily shipments, tonnage and revenue increased more than 20% compared to second quarter 2023 due to this additional new profitable business. As new core shipments were added during the quarter, overall Asset-Based network capacity was re-allocated to serve this increase in business by reducing shipments sourced from the transactional LTL pricing program. Average shipment size decreased during the quarter as larger average sized transactional shipments were replaced by lower average sized core shipments.
Asset-Based yields were positively impacted by the change in shipment mix moving through the ABF network and the improved pricing strength as a result of the reduction in LTL industry carrier capacity. On a sequential basis, compared to the second quarter, total revenue per hundredweight increased by over 16 percent while year-over-year total revenue per hundredweight increased approximately 2 percent compared to a strong year-over-year increase during last year’s third quarter. The overall pricing environment continues to be rational and has been strengthened by the recent market changes.
Higher employee wage and benefit costs associated with the implementation of ABF Freight’s new labor agreement added approximately 350 operating ratio basis points in the third quarter, relative to the second quarter. Despite those increased operating expenses, improved yields and initiatives enacted to reduce costs in other operational areas of the Asset-Based network, combined with effective handling of the changing profile of shipments, resulted in sequential improvement in the non-GAAP Asset-Based operating ratio of 400 basis points compared to the second quarter.
Third Quarter 2023 Versus Third Quarter 2022
- Revenue of $419.3 million compared to $515.2 million, a per-day decrease of 16.7 percent.
- Operating loss of $3.7 million compared to operating income of $15.4 million. On a non‑GAAP basis, operating loss of $3.9 million compared to operating income of $18.9 million.
- Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (“Adjusted EBITDA”) of negative $2.0 million compared to positive $20.5 million, as detailed in the attached non-GAAP reconciliation tables.
Third quarter Asset-Light results, compared to the prior-year period, reflect lower revenue per shipment and reduced margins associated with business mix changes and the soft rate environment. Our truckload solution experienced significant margin compression as decreases in customer pricing exceeded the reduced cost of purchased transportation. Asset-Light average daily shipments increased during the recent quarter despite a period of weak demand. Market disruption in LTL carrier capacity resulted in the need for some shippers to find alternative sources for moving goods within our managed transportation solution. Efforts to more effectively match costs with business levels continue, which lowered operating expenses.
Share Repurchase Program and Common Stock Dividends
In September 2023, ArcBest entered into a 10b5-1 plan allowing for share repurchases during the current closed trading window under ArcBest’s share repurchase program. ArcBest has settled repurchases of 798,818 shares of common stock for an aggregate cost of $76.8 million, year-to-date through Thursday, October 26, 2023, including under the current 10b5-1 plan and the previously disclosed 10b5-1 plan, which extended from March 16, 2023 through May 2, 2023. With these purchases, $48.2 million remains available under the current repurchase authorization for future common stock purchases.
ArcBest common stock dividends paid this year through September 30, 2023 equaled $8.7 million.
NOTE ‡ – Asset-Light represents the reportable segment previously named ArcBest. Asset-Light financial results previously included the ArcBest segment and FleetNet, which was sold on February 28, 2023.
ArcBest will host a conference call with company executives to discuss the third quarter 2023 results. The call will be today, Friday, October 27 at 9:00 a.m. EDT (8:00 a.m. CDT). Interested parties are invited to listen by calling (800) 916-9049 or by joining the webcast which can be found on ArcBest’s website at arcb.com. Slides to accompany this call are included in Exhibit 99.3 of the Form 8-K filed on October 27, 2023, will be posted and available to download on the company’s website prior to the scheduled conference time, and will be included in the webcast. Following the call, a recorded playback will be available through the end of the day on December 15, 2023. To listen to the playback, dial (800) 633-8284 or (402) 977-9140 (for international callers). The conference call ID for the playback is 22028126. The conference call and playback can also be accessed, through December 15, 2023, on ArcBest’s website at arcb.com.
ArcBest® (Nasdaq: ARCB) is a multibillion-dollar integrated logistics company that helps keep the global supply chain moving. Founded in 1923 and now with over 15,000 employees across over 250 campuses and service centers, the company is a logistics powerhouse fueled by the simple notion of finding a way to get the job done. Through innovative thinking, agility and trust, ArcBest leverages its full suite of shipping and logistics solutions to meet customers’ critical needs, each and every day. For more information, visit arcb.com.
The following is a “safe harbor” statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Certain statements and information in this press release concerning results for the three months ended September 30, 2023, may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, among others, statements regarding (i) our expectations about our intrinsic value or our prospects for growth and value creation and (ii) our financial outlook, position, strategies, goals, and expectations. Terms such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “forecast,” “foresee,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “predict,” “project,” “scheduled,” “should,” “would,” and similar expressions and the negatives of such terms are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements are based on management’s beliefs, assumptions, and expectations based on currently available information, are not guarantees of future performance, and involve certain risks and uncertainties (some of which are beyond our control). Although we believe that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable as and when made, we cannot provide assurance that our expectations will prove to be correct. Actual outcomes and results could materially differ from what is expressed, implied, or forecasted in these statements due to a number of factors, including, but not limited to: the effects of a widespread outbreak of an illness or disease, including the COVID-19 pandemic, or any other public health crisis, as well as regulatory measures implemented in response to such events; external events which may adversely affect us or the third parties who provide services for us, for which our business continuity plans may not adequately prepare us, including, but not limited to, acts of war or terrorism, or military conflicts; data privacy breaches, cybersecurity incidents, and/or failures of our information systems, including disruptions or failures of services essential to our operations or upon which our information technology platforms rely; interruption or failure of third-party software or information technology systems or licenses; untimely or ineffective development and implementation of, or failure to realize the potential benefits associated with, new or enhanced technology or processes, including the Vaux freight handling pilot test program at ABF Freight and our customer pilot offering of Vaux, including human-centered remote operation software; the loss or reduction of business from large customers; the timing and performance of growth initiatives and the ability to manage our cost structure; the cost, integration, and performance of any recent or future acquisitions, including the acquisition of MoLo Solutions, LLC, and the inability to realize the anticipated benefits of the acquisition within the expected time period or at all; maintaining our corporate reputation and intellectual property rights; nationwide or global disruption in the supply chain resulting in increased volatility in freight volumes; competitive initiatives and pricing pressures; increased prices for and decreased availability of new revenue equipment, decreases in value of used revenue equipment, and higher costs of equipment-related operating expenses such as maintenance, fuel, and related taxes; availability of fuel, the effect of volatility in fuel prices and the associated changes in fuel surcharges on securing increases in base freight rates, and the inability to collect fuel surcharges; relationships with employees, including unions, and our ability to attract, retain, and upskill employees; unfavorable terms of, or the inability to reach agreement on, future collective bargaining agreements or a workforce stoppage by our employees covered under ABF Freight’s collective bargaining agreement; union employee wages and benefits, including changes in required contributions to multiemployer plans; availability and cost of reliable third-party services; our ability to secure independent owner operators and/or operational or regulatory issues related to our use of their services; litigation or claims asserted against us; governmental regulations; environmental laws and regulations, including emissions-control regulations; default on covenants of financing arrangements and the availability and terms of future financing arrangements; our ability to generate sufficient cash from operations to support significant ongoing capital expenditure requirements and other business initiatives; self-insurance claims and insurance premium costs; potential impairment of goodwill and intangible assets; general economic conditions and related shifts in market demand that impact the performance and needs of industries we serve and/or limit our customers’ access to adequate financial resources; increasing costs due to inflation and rising interest rates; seasonal fluctuations, adverse weather conditions, natural disasters, and climate change; and other financial, operational, and legal risks and uncertainties detailed from time to time in ArcBest Corporation’s public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”).
For additional information regarding known material factors that could cause our actual results to differ from those expressed in these forward-looking statements, please see our filings with the SEC, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10‑Q, and Current Reports on Form 8‑K.
Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements after the date they are made, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.