Saia Reports Record Fourth Quarter Results

Wednesday, 02. February 2022 13:30

JOHNS CREEK, Ga., Feb. 02, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Saia, Inc. (Nasdaq: SAIA), a leading transportation provider offering national less-than-truckload (LTL), non-asset truckload, expedited and logistics services, today reported fourth quarter 2021 financial results. Diluted earnings per share in the quarter were $2.76 compared to $1.51 in the fourth quarter of 2020. Full year diluted earnings per share were $9.48 in 2021 compared to $5.20 in 2020.

Highlights from the fourth quarter and full year operating results were as follows:

Fourth Quarter 2021 Compared to Fourth Quarter 2020 Results

  • Revenue was $617.1 million, a 29.5% increase
  • Operating income was $97.4 million, a 92.3% increase
  • Operating ratio of 84.2 compared to 89.4
  • LTL shipments per workday increased 3.3%
  • LTL tonnage per workday increased 11.0%
  • LTL revenue per hundredweight increased 19.6%
  • LTL revenue per shipment rose 28.4% to $317

Full Year 2021 Results Compared to Full Year 2020 Results

  • Revenue was $2.3 billion, a 25.6% increase
  • Operating income was $335.1 million, a 85.9% increase
  • Operating ratio of 85.4 compared to 90.1
  • LTL shipments per workday rose 5.7%
  • LTL tonnage per workday increased 12.4%
  • LTL revenue per hundredweight increased 12.8%
  • LTL revenue per shipment rose 20.0% to $289

“Our 2021 results reflect our ongoing efforts to profitably grow our business and expand our footprint to get closer to our customers. In doing so, we add more value to our customers and are closing the gap on the premium pricing enjoyed by some of our closest competitors,” said Saia, Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer Fritz Holzgrefe. “Revenue growth of 29.5% in the fourth quarter on LTL shipments per workday that grew 3.3% in the quarter is a reflection of this growing value proposition for our customers and their willingness to pay a fair price for great service,” added Holzgrefe.

“Very similar to 2020, 2021 was filled with numerous challenges for our workforce and to post record results through ongoing Covid-related supply chain disruptions, as well as major storm events, is a testament to thousands of dedicated Saia employees. We are still operating in challenging conditions and our Covid operating protocol continues,” commented Holzgrefe.

“Saia opened 7 new terminals in 2021 and plans are well underway for accelerated expansion of our network footprint in 2022 as we intend to open 10-15 new terminals this year. As we grow the network, we also intend to increase capacity across the existing network and plan to relocate up to 10 existing terminals in 2022 to locations better suited for our expanding volumes,” concluded Holzgrefe.

Saia Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Douglas Col added, “In 2021 we were able to balance LTL shipment per workday growth of 5.7% with changes in mix and with targeted pricing action, to increase LTL revenue per shipment by 20.0%. Cost per shipment increased due to heavier weight per shipment and longer length of haul, along with general inflationary pressures, but was less than the increase in LTL revenue per shipment. The resulting 85.4 operating ratio was 470 basis points better than 2020 and was the best in our company’s 98-year history,” Col concluded.

Financial Position and Capital Expenditures

Total debt was $50.4 million at December 31, 2021, and we ended the year with $106.6 million of cash on hand. This compares to total debt of $71.0 million and $25.3 million of cash on hand at December 31, 2020.

Net capital expenditures were $277.3 million in 2021. This compares to $218.8 million in net capital expenditures during 2020. In 2022, we anticipate net capital expenditures will be in excess of $500 million.

Conference Call

Management will hold a conference call to discuss quarterly results today at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time. To participate in the call, please dial 888-394-8218 or 313-209-6544 referencing conference ID #8752077. 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 March 2, 2022 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 Georgia, Saia LTL Freight operates 176 terminals with service across 44 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, except as required by law. 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 or inflationary periods in the business cycle; (2) operation within a highly competitive industry and the adverse impact from downward pricing pressures, including in connection with fuel surcharges, and other factors; (3) industry-wide external factors largely out of our control; (4) cost and availability of qualified drivers, dock workers and other employees, purchased transportation and fuel; (5) claims expenses and other expense volatility, including for personal injury, cargo loss and damage, workers’ compensation, employment and group health plan claims; (6) cost and availability of insurance coverage, including the possibility the Company may be required to pay additional premiums, assume additional liability under its auto liability policy or be unable to obtain insurance coverage; (7) failure to successfully execute the strategy to expand our service geography; (8) costs and liabilities from the disruption in or failure of our technology or equipment essential to our operations, including as a result of cyber incidents, security breaches, malware or ransomware attacks; (9) failure to keep pace with technological developments; (10) labor relations, including the adverse impact should a portion of our workforce become unionized; (11) cost and availability of real property and revenue equipment; (12) capacity and highway infrastructure constraints; (13) risks arising from international business operations and relationships; (14) seasonal factors, harsh weather and disasters caused by climate change; (15) economic declines in the geographic regions or industries in which our customers operate; (16) the creditworthiness of our customers and their ability to pay for services; (17) our need for capital and uncertainty of the credit markets; (18) the possibility of defaults under our debt agreements (including violation of financial covenants); (19) failure to operate and grow acquired businesses in a manner that support the value allocated to acquired businesses; (20) dependence on key employees; (21) increased costs of healthcare benefits; (22) damage to our reputation from adverse publicity, including from the use of or impact from social media; (23) failure to make future acquisitions or to achieve acquisition synergies; (24) the effect of litigation and class action lawsuits arising from the operation of our business, including the possibility of claims or judgments in excess of our insurance coverages or that result in increases in the cost of insurance coverage or that preclude us from obtaining adequate insurance coverage in the future; (25) the potential of higher corporate taxes and new regulations, including with respect to climate change, employment and labor law, healthcare and securities regulation; (26) the effect of governmental regulations, including hours of service for drivers, engine emissions, the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) initiative, regulations of the Food and Drug Administration and Homeland Security, and healthcare and environmental regulations; (27) unforeseen costs from new and existing data privacy laws; (28) changes in accounting and financial standards or practices; (29) widespread outbreak of an illness or any other communicable disease, including the COVID-19 pandemic, or any other health crisis or business disruptions and higher costs that may arise from the COVID-19 pandemic in the future, including governmental regulations requiring that employees be vaccinated or be tested regularly for COVID-19 before reporting to work; (30) increasing investor and customer sensitivity to social and sustainability issues, including climate change; (31) anti-terrorism measures and terrorist events; (32) provisions in our governing documents and Delaware law that may have anti-takeover effects; (33) issuances of equity that would dilute stock ownership; and (34) 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 news 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, except as otherwise required by law.

CONTACT: Saia, Inc.
 Investor Relations


Saia, Inc. and Subsidiaries 
Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets 
(Amounts in thousands) 
  December 31,
 December 31,
Cash and cash equivalents $106,588  $25,308  
Accounts receivable, net  276,755   216,899  
Prepaid expenses and other  32,912   29,489  
Total current assets  416,255   271,696  
Cost  2,144,528   1,901,244  
Less: accumulated depreciation  864,074   765,217  
Net property and equipment  1,280,454   1,136,027  
 OTHER ASSETS  40,760   27,336  
Total assets $1,845,250  $1,548,774  
Accounts payable $114,010  $89,381  
Wages and employees' benefits  73,109   55,392  
Other current liabilities  93,268   90,184  
Current portion of long-term debt  19,396   20,588  
Current portion of operating lease liability  21,565   20,209  
Total current liabilities  321,348   275,754  
Long-term debt, less current portion  31,008   50,388  
Operating lease liability, less current portion  88,409   95,321  
Deferred income taxes  124,137   119,818  
Claims, insurance and other  60,015   46,205  
Total other liabilities  303,569   311,732  
Common stock  26   26  
Additional paid-in capital  274,633   267,666  
Deferred compensation trust  (4,101)  (2,944) 
Retained earnings  949,775   696,540  
Total stockholders' equity  1,220,333   961,288  
Total liabilities and stockholders' equity $1,845,250  $1,548,774  

Saia, Inc. and Subsidiaries 
Consolidated Statements of Operations 
For the Quarters and Years Ended December 31, 2021 and 2020 
(Amounts in thousands, except per share data) 
  Fourth Quarter Years 
   2021   2020   2021   2020  
OPERATING REVENUE $617,081  $476,482  $2,288,704  $1,822,366  
Salaries, wages and employees' benefits  273,393   248,246   1,063,703   963,260  
Purchased transportation  70,005   44,851   249,710   141,369  
Fuel, operating expenses and supplies  107,505   76,327   381,904   299,234  
Operating taxes and licenses  15,626   14,094   59,095   56,294  
Claims and insurance  17,019   9,109   61,345   49,761  
Depreciation and amortization  35,927   34,177   141,700   134,655  
Loss (gain) from property disposals, net  221   (970)  (3,894)  (2,528) 
Total operating expenses  519,696   425,834   1,953,563   1,642,045  
OPERATING INCOME  97,385   50,648   335,141   180,321  
Interest expense  749   1,007   3,212   5,177  
Other, net  (297)  (539)  (844)  (1,134) 
Nonoperating expenses, net  452   468   2,368   4,043  
INCOME BEFORE INCOME TAXES  96,933   50,180   332,773   176,278  
Income tax expense  23,172   9,944   79,538   37,938  
NET INCOME $73,761  $40,236  $253,235  $138,340  
Average common shares outstanding - basic  26,336   26,203   26,322   26,140  
Average common shares outstanding - diluted  26,734   26,653   26,707   26,592  
Basic earnings per share $2.80  $1.54  $9.62  $5.29  
Diluted earnings per share $2.76  $1.51  $9.48  $5.20  

Saia, Inc. and Subsidiaries 
Condensed Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows 
For the Quarters and Ended December 31, 2021 and 2020 
(Amounts in thousands) 
   2021   2020  
Net cash provided by operating activities $382,592  $309,145  
Net cash provided by operating activities  382,592   309,145  
Acquisition of property and equipment  (285,746)  (231,142) 
Proceeds from disposal of property and equipment  8,398   12,325  
Other  (500)    
Net cash used in investing activities  (277,848)  (218,817) 
Borrowing (repayment) of revolving credit agreement, net     (45,929) 
Proceeds from stock option exercises  3,678   3,786  
Shares withheld for taxes  (6,571)  (3,600) 
Other financing activity  (20,571)  (19,525) 
Net cash used in financing activities  (23,464)  (65,268) 

Saia, Inc. and Subsidiaries
Financial Information
For the Quarters Ended December 31, 2021 and 2020
        Fourth Quarter  
  Fourth Quarter  % Amount/Workday  %
   2021   2020  Change 2021 2020 Change
Workdays      61 62  
Operating ratio 84.2%  89.4%        
LTL tonnage (1) 1,346   1,233  9.2 22.07 19.89 11.0
LTL shipments (1) 1,888   1,859  1.6 30.96 29.98 3.3
LTL revenue/cwt.$22.24  $18.60  19.6      
LTL revenue/cwt., excluding fuel surcharges$18.89  $16.57  14.0      
LTL revenue/shipment$317.04  $246.88  28.4      
LTL revenue/shipment, excluding fuel surcharges$269.30  $219.94  22.4      
LTL pounds/shipment 1,426   1,327  7.5      
LTL length of haul (2) 924   898  2.9      
(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.

Saia, Inc. and Subsidiaries
Financial Information
For the Years Ended December 31, 2021 and 2020
        Year Over Year  
  Year Over Year % Amount/Workday %
   2021   2020  Change 2021 2020 Change
Workdays      252 254  
Operating ratio 85.4%  90.1%        
LTL tonnage (1) 5,401   4,842  11.5 21.43 19.06 12.4
LTL shipments (1) 7,730   7,371  4.9 30.68 29.02 5.7
LTL revenue/cwt.$20.68  $18.33  12.8      
LTL revenue/cwt., excluding fuel surcharges$17.72  $16.27  8.9      
LTL revenue/shipment$289.00  $240.86  20.0      
LTL revenue/shipment, excluding fuel surcharges$247.56  $213.71  15.8      
LTL pounds/shipment 1,397   1,314  6.3      
LTL length of haul (2) 913   879  3.9      
(1)In thousands.
(2)In miles.           

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