Saia Reports Record Third Quarter Earnings per Share of $1.25

Wednesday, 30. October 2019 12:30

JOHNS CREEK, Ga., Oct. 30, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Saia, Inc. (Nasdaq: SAIA), a leading transportation provider offering multi-regional less-than-truckload (LTL), non-asset truckload, expedited and logistics services, today reported third quarter 2019 financial results. Diluted earnings per share in the quarter were $1.25 compared to $1.07 in the third quarter of 2018. 

Third Quarter 2019 Compared to Third Quarter 2018 Results

  • Revenue was $468.9 million, a 10.2% increase
  • Operating income was $45.4 million, a 17.2% increase
  • Operating ratio improved to 90.3 from 90.9
  • LTL shipments per workday rose 7.3%
  • LTL tonnage per workday increased by 3.0%
  • LTL revenue per hundredweight increased 5.3%
  • LTL revenue per shipment rose 1.1% to $235.87

“The record third quarter results at Saia were achieved even as the Company opened three new terminals and relocated another all in the back half of September, as we continue to focus on our long-term growth strategy,” said Saia President and Chief Operating Officer, Fritz Holzgrefe.  “While I was generally pleased with our execution in the third quarter, the challenge created by the new terminal openings and relocations late in the quarter, and continuing negative weight per shipment trends provided a larger than expected headwind to results,” continued Holzgrefe.  “Saia’s LTL yield increased year-over-year for the 37th consecutive quarter and the market remains rational in our view,” Holzgrefe concluded. 

“This year has been by far our most active year in terms of facility openings since our organic expansion began in 2017,” stated Saia Chief Executive Officer, Rick O’Dell.  “We have opened eight new terminals in the Northeast including two in October and we have relocated three others in major markets.  Additionally, in early October we opened a new terminal in Long Beach, California,” continued O’Dell.  “Long Beach is the second busiest container port in the country and this 14th terminal in California positions us well for continued growth.  The Long Beach terminal opening highlights our long-term opportunity to open new terminals in existing markets and get closer to customers, provide better service and ultimately gain market share,” continued O’Dell.  “We plan to relocate two additional terminals before year-end,” concluded O’Dell.

Financial Position and Capital Expenditures

Total debt was $165.3 million at September 30, 2019 and inclusive of the cash on-hand, net debt to total capital was 17.3%.  This compares to total debt of $121.3 million and net debt to total capital of 15.3% at September 30, 2018.

Net capital expenditures in the year-to-date period through September were $250.7 million including equipment acquired with capital leases.  This compares to $182.5 million in net capital expenditures through the first nine months of 2018.  In 2019, we anticipate net capital expenditures of $275-$300 million.

Conference Call

Management will hold a conference call to discuss quarterly results today at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time. To participate in the call, please dial 800-367-2403 or 334-777-6978 referencing conference ID #9832917.  Callers should dial in five to ten minutes in advance of the conference call.  This call will be webcast live via the Company website at  A replay of the call will be offered two hours after the completion of the call through November 27, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time.  The replay will be available by dialing 888-203-1112.

Saia, Inc. (Nasdaq: SAIA) offers customers a wide range of less-than-truckload, non-asset truckload, expedited and logistics services.  With headquarters in Johns Creek, GA, Saia LTL Freight operates 168 terminals across 43 states.  For more information on Saia, Inc. visit the Investor Relations section at

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

The Securities and Exchange Commission encourages companies to disclose forward-looking information so that investors can better understand the future prospects of a company and make informed investment decisions. This news release may contain these types of statements, which are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

Words such as “anticipate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “project,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “predict,” “believe,” “should” and similar words or expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements and the Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements reflect the present expectation of future events of our management as of the date of this news release and are subject to a number of important factors, risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in any forward-looking statements. These factors, risks, uncertainties and assumptions include, but are not limited to, (1) general economic conditions including downturns in the business cycle; (2) effectiveness of Company-specific performance improvement initiatives, including management of the cost structure to match shifts in customer volume levels; (3) the creditworthiness of our customers and their ability to pay for services; (4) failure to achieve acquisition synergies; (5) failure to operate and grow acquired businesses in a manner that supports the value allocated to these acquired businesses; (6) economic declines in the geographic regions or industries in which our customers operate; (7) competitive initiatives and pricing pressures, including in connection with fuel surcharge; (8) loss of significant customers; (9) the Company’s need for capital and uncertainty of the credit markets; (10) the possibility of defaults under the Company’s debt agreements (including violation of financial covenants); (11) possible issuance of equity which would dilute stock ownership; (12) integration risks; (13) the effect of litigation including class action lawsuits; (14) cost and availability of qualified drivers, fuel, purchased transportation, real property, revenue equipment, technology and other assets; (15) the effect of governmental regulations, including but not limited to Hours of Service, engine emissions, the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) initiative, the Food and Drug Administration, compliance with legislation requiring companies to evaluate their internal control over financial reporting, Homeland Security, environmental regulations, tax law changes and potential changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement and to certain international tariffs; (16) changes in interpretation of accounting principles; (17) dependence on key employees; (18) inclement weather; (19) labor relations, including the adverse impact should a portion of the Company’s workforce become unionized; (20) terrorism risks; (21) self-insurance claims and other expense volatility; (22) risks arising from international business operations and relationships; (23) cost and availability of insurance coverage, including the possibility the Company may be required to pay additional premiums under its auto liability policy; (24) increased costs of healthcare and prescription drugs, including as a result of healthcare reform legislation; (25) social media risks; (26) disruption in or failure of the Company’s technology or equipment, including services essential to operations of the Company and/or cyber security risk; (27) failure to successfully execute the strategy to expand the Company’s service geography into the Northeastern United States; and (28) other financial, operational and legal risks and uncertainties detailed from time to time in the Company’s SEC filings. 

As a result of these and other factors, no assurance can be given as to our future results and achievements. Accordingly, a forward-looking statement is neither a prediction nor a guarantee of future events or circumstances and those future events or circumstances may not occur. You should not place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. We are under no obligation, and we expressly disclaim any obligation, to update or alter any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

CONTACT: Saia, Inc.
Doug Col

Saia, Inc. and Subsidiaries
Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets
(Amounts in thousands)
 September 30, 2019 December 31, 2018
Cash and cash equivalents$15  $2,194 
Accounts receivable, net 218,000   181,612 
Prepaid expenses and other 31,694   29,567 
Total current assets 249,709   213,373 
Cost 1,735,019   1,521,341 
Less: accumulated depreciation 693,895   628,283 
Net property and equipment 1,041,124   893,058 
OTHER ASSETS 27,789   27,312 
Total assets$1,422,272  $1,133,743 
Accounts payable$84,857  $78,994 
Wages and employees' benefits 53,068   48,116 
Other current liabilities 68,607   64,118 
Current portion of long-term debt 19,245   18,082 
Current portion of operating lease liability 18,304    
Total current liabilities 244,081   209,310 
Long-term debt, less current portion 146,020   104,777 
Operating lease liability, less current portion 86,552    
Deferred income taxes 108,711   86,893 
Claims, insurance and other 44,537   36,899 
Total other liabilities 385,820   228,569 
Common stock 26   26 
Additional paid-in capital 259,388   254,738 
Deferred compensation trust (3,824)  (3,381)
Retained earnings 536,781   444,481 
Total stockholders' equity 792,371   695,864 
Total liabilities and stockholders' equity$1,422,272  $1,133,743 

Saia, Inc. and Subsidiaries
Consolidated Statements of Operations
For the Quarters and Nine Months Ended September 30, 2019 and 2018
(Amounts in thousands, except per share data)
 Third Quarter Nine Months
  2019   2018   2019   2018 
OPERATING REVENUE$468,891  $425,562  $1,343,670  $1,247,099 
Salaries, wages and employees' benefits 250,162   224,635   708,203   656,165 
Purchased transportation 35,843   31,216   98,415   95,245 
Fuel, operating expenses and supplies 84,259   81,643   253,130   245,182 
Operating taxes and licenses 13,634   12,366   40,365   37,310 
Claims and insurance 7,850   9,985   30,536   30,086 
Depreciation and amortization 31,333   26,694   87,258   74,965 
Loss from property disposals, net 451   326   607   305 
Total operating expenses 423,532   386,865   1,218,514   1,139,258 
OPERATING INCOME 45,359   38,697   125,156   107,841 
Interest expense 1,868   1,410   5,154   4,090 
Other, net (20)  (139)  (494)  (384)
Nonoperating expenses, net 1,848   1,271   4,660   3,706 
INCOME BEFORE INCOME TAXES 43,511   37,426   120,496   104,135 
Income tax expense 10,543   9,231   28,196   24,534 
NET INCOME$32,968  $28,195  $92,300  $79,601 
Average common shares outstanding - basic 25,978   25,792   25,936   25,752 
Average common shares outstanding - diluted 26,460   26,354   26,413   26,328 
Basic earnings per share$1.27  $1.09  $3.56  $3.09 
Diluted earnings per share$1.25  $1.07  $3.49  $3.02 

Saia, Inc. and Subsidiaries
Condensed Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
For the nine months ended September 30, 2019 and 2018
(Amounts in thousands)
 Nine Months
  2019   2018 
Net cash provided by operating activities$207,298  $187,110 
Net cash provided by operating activities 207,298   187,110 
Acquisition of property and equipment (245,203)  (155,217)
Proceeds from disposal of property and equipment 678   778 
Net cash used in investing activities (244,525)  (154,439)
Borrowing (repayment) of revolving credit agreement, net 50,005   (28,000)
Proceeds from stock option exercises 2,927   4,165 
Shares withheld for taxes (3,471)  (1,396)
Other financing activity (14,413)  (11,631)
Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities 35,048   (36,862)
Equipment financed with finance leases$6,165  $28,052 
Total current liabilities   

Saia, Inc. and Subsidiaries 
Financial Information 
For the Quarters Ended September 30, 2019 and 2018 
       Third Quarter   
 Third Quarter  % Amount/Workday 
  2019   2018  Change 2019 2018 Change
Workdays      64 63   
Operating ratio 90.3%  90.9%         
LTL tonnage (1) 1,263   1,208  4.6  19.74 19.17 3.0 
LTL shipments (1) 1,941   1,780  9.0  30.33 28.26 7.3 
LTL revenue/cwt.$18.12  $17.20  5.3        
LTL revenue/shipment$235.87  $233.38  1.1        
LTL pounds/shipment 1,302   1,357  (4.1)       
LTL length of haul (2) 842   835  0.8        

(1) In thousands.

(2) In miles.

Note: LTL operating statistics exclude transportation and logistics services where pricing is generally not determined by weight. The LTL operating statistics also exclude the adjustment required for financial statement purposes in accordance with the Company's revenue recognition policy.

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