2012 loss hits $17.5 million for USA Truck

A $17.54 million net loss during 2012 for Van Buren-based USA Truck begs the question: How much longer can the company operate in the red?

Cliff Beckham, USA Truck president and CEO, said the company is capitalized for the “foreseeable future.”

“We believe our balance sheet and sources of liquidity are adequate to support our operating needs for the foreseeable future,” Beckham noted in the earnings statement released Thursday (Jan. 31). “At December 31, 2012, our outstanding debt, less cash, represented 55.1% of our balance sheet capitalization, compared to 47.4% at December 31, 2011.”

Beckham also said the company remains in compliance with its new, five-year $125 million financing agreement with Wells Fargo Capital and PNC Bank, and has $19.9 million available from which to borrow.

USA Truck was forced in August 2012 to obtain a new line of credit during the third quarter of 2012 after violating covenant agreements with the previous credit arrangement. Poor national freight demand and missteps by USA Truck in implementing new software were factors leading to a string of financial losses for the long-haul carrier that has more than 2,184 tractors and approximately 3,000 employees.

For the full year, total revenue was $512.428 million, down from the $519.408 million during 2011. The company’s freight brokerage business – Strategic Capacity Solutions – posted $89.831 million, a more than $22 million improvement over 2011.

However, total trucking revenue was $297.624 million, down 7.3% compared to 2011.

The company posted a loss of $17.54 million, marking four years of losses. USA Truck posted a 2011 net income loss of $10.77 million, more than triple the loss during 2010 and in a year when other trucking companies began to see improved financials. Also, 2011 marked the third consecutive year of losses for USA Truck. In 2010, the company reported a loss of $3.308 million, and a $7.177 million loss in 2009.

For the fourth quarter, total revenue was $134.771 million, ahead of the $126.202 million during the 2011 quarter. The company lost $3.11 million during the quarter, an improvement over the $4.354 million loss during 2011.

The 30 cents per share loss was better than the 38 cents per share loss expected by the consensus of analyst estimates.

All segments of the company – trucking, brokerage and intermodal – generated more revenue when compared to the same quarter of 2011. Trucking revenue was $77.891 million, above the $75.309 million during the 2011 quarter.

It was the fourth quarter performance that company officials promoted in the earnings statement.

"Improvement was most evident in our Trucking segment, where we produced year-over-year revenue growth for the first time since the second quarter of 2011. Base Trucking revenue grew 3.4% despite a 3.1% reduction in the average fleet size. Base revenue per tractor per week improved 6.7% to $2,720 on an improved freight mix and a substantially larger manned tractor count,” Beckham said.

Other improvements noted in the statement include:
• Base trucking revenue grew 3.4% despite a 3.1% reduction in the average fleet size.  Base revenue per tractor per week improved 6.7% to $2,720 on an improved freight mix and a larger manned tractor count.

• A better freight mix and the operational execution increased miles per manned tractor per week by 1.3% to 1,931 miles.

• The company cut its unmanned tractor count by more than 50%, to 92 from 213 sequentially versus the third quarter of 2012.

• The manned tractor count growth was made possible primarily by lower driver turnover, which improved throughout the quarter to an annualized rate of 83% in December 2012, compared to 107% in December 2011.


• The combination of our manned tractor count and greater miles per manned tractor led to a 5.5% improvement in overall tractor utilization to 1,850 miles per in-service tractor per week."

The company announced in late December the addition of Thomas Glaser to the management team. Glaser, a former president and COO of Celadon Group who has 24 years of trucking industry experience, is the second attempt to bring experience into USA Truck operations. The company hired David Hartline in August 2011 as the executive vice president and chief operations officer.

Link here for the company’s fourth quarter financial report.

Shares of USA Truck (NASDAQ: USAK) closed Wednesday at $5.57. The price of the thinly traded shares fell in early Thursday trading to $4.66. During the past 52 weeks, the share price has ranged from a $9.24 high to a $2.65 low.

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USA Truck

I guess getting rid of the CFO really solved the problem. Last I checked, the CFO did not run the operations into the ground. He may have needed to go, but was not the primary problem. Ok, who's next? Perhaps the leader?

How long

As a former employee of USA I know first-hand how dysfunctional the company is. Cliff continues to blame software, economy, etc. Cliff, blame yourself. Blame the management. However, stop blaming the employees (or former employees like myself). On Cliff's instruction, so many people have been let go simply because they recognized the "feel good" seminars weren't about improving morale but more of a "at least look like your happy or else" threat. The I.T staff, most of who are all gone except for the "yes-man" few in supervisory or management roles and have no business at the role, have always caught the blame on the poor performance. Truth be told it is the fault of you, Cliff, who chose the cheapest software package possible and are seeing the consequences. It's not the I.T staff's fault your bad decision of choosing TMW as a platform and the platform is such a big pile of junk that you cannot get it to function as you want it. Be a man Cliff and accept the fact that you have no business as CEO and many people are struggling to make ends meet because of being "let go" for made-up reasons. Accepting responsibility and recognizing its your fault is the first step in improving the future of USA Truck.

Why do you all want USA to fail? - Hurt feelings? - Ego?

The truth is clear – each of you want to see USA Truck fail. It is far easier to write/comment about the downfall of an organization than to cast any light on what is actually going well or the potential of that company to regain profitability. It is also all too easy to blame one man when something goes wrong. When Cliff came to his current position the ship had already sustained the damage that everyone later started to recognize and carry on about. There is no satisfaction in blaming people that cannot be hurt by allegations though. This is why everyone aims at the current man in charge and cuts at him for every move he makes. At least he made some moves. If the same tactics had been followed that the last regime operated under, the company would have been liquidated by now. Step back and look at what the market sees. Last quarter is the biggest sign of progress the company has seen in 5 years. The stock is up around $1.50 since January 1’st 2013. That is roughly 44% gain in one month. Hopefully $2.65 and the 3’rd quarter of 2012 were rock bottom for USA. Many friendships have been lost or damaged and many lives changed by the struggles of the company. When you think about it though – that’s just business. The dedicated workers of USA that are still fighting have gotten the ship floating without having to pump out the bilge any longer. It sounds like they fired up the engines last quarter. Before long the ship likely will be under full power and if this region is lucky USA will catch a tail wind too.

Share the prosperity: Greed v. Need Continuum

USA Truck and all companies need to spread the wealth around. As it appears, USA trucks bosses made out alright while the grunts get left out of a piece of the pie. "Let them eat crumbs of cake seems to be the mantra." Capitalism has gone awry of late. Is it any wonder America is losing it PR image. Maybe we are more "phony" than we can admit to ourselves as a nation.....Superficial for the masses, cash for the elites.

Not sure about that

I'm no sure about the Obama mentality of "spread the wealth" but I'm pretty sure what has "gone awry" is the fact I make a lengthy post about why I have the position and extreme dislike for USA Truck and it seems that it was screened and moderated out. So, here is the short version to try again: -I worked for this company for a very long time -Cliff thinks he is the "all-knowing" -"attitude adjustment" classes are threats to at least have the appearance I being happy or else... -My family is hurtin badly because Cliff and the executive posse makes bad decisions and causing the removal of a lot of people including me -Cliff blames everyone and everything else, except for the real cause: Cliff