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Marten Transport Ltd.$21.30($2.05)(8.78%)

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 Marten Transport Announces Fourth Quarter and Year End Results
   Thursday, January 26, 2017 4:01:13 PM ET

Marten Transport, Ltd. (Nasdaq/GS:MRTN) today reported net income of $8.3 million, or 25 cents per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2016 compared with $8.8 million, or 26 cents per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2015. Net income was $33.5 million, or $1.02 per diluted share, for the year ended December 31, 2016 compared with $35.7 million, or $1.06 per diluted share, for 2015. Results for 2015 included a gain on the disposition of facilities of $392,000 for the fourth quarter and $4.1 million for the year. Net income improved to $33.5 million in 2016 from $33.3 million, or 99 cents per diluted share, in 2015 excluding the facilities gain.

Operating revenue improved 2.3% to $172.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2016 from $168.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2015, and improved 0.9% to $671.1 million for 2016 from $665.0 million for 2015, despite lower fuel surcharges due to decreased fuel prices in 2016. Operating revenue, net of fuel surcharges, improved 2.2% to $157.4 million for the 2016 quarter from $154.0 million for the 2015 quarter, and increased 4.3% to $617.9 million for 2016 from $592.6 million for 2015. Fuel surcharge revenue increased to $15.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2016 from $14.7 million for the 2015 quarter, and decreased 26.4% to $53.2 million for 2016 from $72.3 million for 2015.

Operating expenses as a percentage of operating revenue was 91.6% for the fourth quarter of 2016 and 91.0% for the fourth quarter of 2015. Operating expenses as a percentage of operating revenue, with both amounts net of fuel surcharges, was 90.8% for the fourth quarter of 2016. The operating ratio, net of both fuel surcharges and the gain on the facility disposition, was 90.4% for the fourth quarter of 2015.

Operating expenses as a percentage of operating revenue was 91.3% for 2016 and 90.8% for 2015. Operating expenses as a percentage of operating revenue, with both amounts net of fuel surcharges, was 90.6% for 2016. The operating ratio, net of both fuel surcharges and the gain on the facility dispositions, was 90.4% for 2015.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Randolph L. Marten said, "Despite persistent softness in the freight market, which has challenged our truckload segment, we have continued to demonstrate the strength of our unique multifaceted business model by achieving our eighth consecutive year-over-year increase in quarterly operating income within each of our dedicated, intermodal and brokerage segments. We increased our average number of truckload and dedicated tractors by 226 tractors, or 9.1%, in 2016 over 2015 with the expansion of our dedicated operations. We remain confident in our ability to profitably capitalize on growth opportunities across all of our business units with our competitive position, cost control emphasis, modern fleet and strong balance sheet."

Marten Transport, with headquarters in Mondovi, Wis., is one of the leading temperature-sensitive truckload carriers in the United States, specializing in transporting and distributing food and other consumer packaged goods that require a temperature-controlled or insulated environment. Marten’s dry freight services are expanding, with 921 dry trailers operating as of December 31, 2016. Marten offers service in the United States, Canada and Mexico, concentrating on expedited movements for high-volume customers. Marten’s common stock is traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol MRTN.

This press release contains certain statements that may be considered forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These statements include our discussion of the Company’s prospects for future growth and by their nature involve substantial risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially from those expressed in such forward-looking statements. Important factors known to the Company that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements are discussed in Item 1A of the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2015. The Company undertakes no obligation to correct or update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

MARTEN TRANSPORT, LTD.
CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED BALANCE SHEETS
(Unaudited)
                                                 December 31,        December 31,
(In thousands, except share information)              2016                2015
ASSETS
Current assets:
Cash and cash equivalents                        $    488            $    434
Receivables:
Trade, net                                            69,199              70,597
Other                                                 4,436               10,885
Prepaid expenses and other                            19,307              18,134
Total current assets                                  93,430              100,050
Property and equipment:
Revenue equipment, buildings and land,
office equipment and other                            759,553             724,597
Accumulated depreciation                              (201,728 )          (196,588 )
Net property and equipment                            557,825             528,009
Other assets                                          2,493               3,469
Total assets                                     $    653,748        $    631,528
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY
Current liabilities:
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities         $    41,230         $    33,641
Insurance and claims accruals                         19,440              16,235
Total current liabilities                             60,670              49,876
Long-term debt                                        7,886               37,867
Deferred income taxes                                 147,854             134,364
Total liabilities                                     216,410             222,107
Stockholders’ equity:
Preferred stock, $.01 par value per share;
2,000,000 shares authorized; no shares
issued and outstanding                                -                   -
Common stock, $.01 par value per share;
96,000,000 shares authorized; 32,634,915 shares
at December 31, 2016, and 32,759,806 shares at
December 31, 2015, issued and outstanding             326                 328
Additional paid-in capital                            74,175              76,468
Retained earnings                                     362,837             332,625
Total stockholders’ equity                            437,338             409,421
Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity       $    653,748        $    631,528
MARTEN TRANSPORT, LTD.
CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
(Unaudited)
                                               Three Months                   Year
                                               Ended December 31,             Ended December 31,
(In thousands, except per share information)      2016           2015            2016           2015
Operating revenue                              $  172,661     $  168,773      $  671,144     $  664,994
Operating expenses (income):
Salaries, wages and benefits                      56,711         54,554          224,827        209,455
Purchased transportation                          28,722         29,687          110,719        118,030
Fuel and fuel taxes                               25,670         23,269          94,075         104,582
Supplies and maintenance                          10,887         10,584          43,912         43,319
Depreciation                                      21,240         19,854          82,445         75,323
Operating taxes and licenses                      2,367          2,729           9,099          8,914
Insurance and claims                              8,978          7,279           32,223         29,252
Communications and utilities                      1,586          1,539           6,287          5,886
Gain on disposition of revenue equipment          (3,040  )      (741    )       (10,502 )      (5,584  )
Gain on disposition of facilities                 -              (392    )       -              (4,104  )
Other                                             5,007          5,174           19,756         18,858
Total operating expenses                          158,128        153,536         612,841        603,931
Operating income                                  14,533         15,237          58,303         61,063
Other                                             443            225             1,237          372
Income before income taxes                        14,090         15,012          57,066         60,691
Provision for income taxes                        5,787          6,222           23,602         24,946
Net income                                     $  8,303       $  8,790        $  33,464      $  35,745
Basic earnings per common share                $  0.25        $  0.26         $  1.03        $  1.07
Diluted earnings per common share              $  0.25        $  0.26         $  1.02        $  1.06
Dividends declared per common share            $  0.025       $  0.025        $  0.10        $  0.10
MARTEN TRANSPORT, LTD.
SEGMENT INFORMATION
(Unaudited)
                                                               Dollar            Percentage
                                                               Change            Change
                                     Three Months              Three Months      Three Months
                                     Ended                     Ended             Ended
                                     December 31,              December 31,      December 31,
(Dollars in thousands)                 2016         2015       2016 vs. 2015     2016 vs. 2015
Operating revenue:
Truckload revenue, net of fuel
surcharge revenue                    $ 86,453     $ 85,874     $    579          0.7    %
Truckload fuel surcharge revenue       10,113       9,964           149          1.5
Total Truckload revenue                96,566       95,838          728          0.8
Dedicated revenue, net of fuel
surcharge revenue                      37,174       33,323          3,851        11.6
Dedicated fuel surcharge revenue       3,188        2,677           511          19.1
Total Dedicated revenue                40,362       36,000          4,362        12.1
Intermodal revenue, net of fuel
surcharge revenue                      16,155       15,599          556          3.6
Intermodal fuel surcharge revenue      1,992        2,090           (98    )     (4.7   )
Total Intermodal revenue               18,147       17,689          458          2.6
Brokerage revenue                      17,586       19,246          (1,660 )     (8.6   )
Total operating revenue              $ 172,661    $ 168,773    $    3,888        2.3    %
Operating income:
Truckload                            $ 7,038      $ 7,903      $    (865   )     (10.9  )%
Dedicated                              4,587        4,322           265          6.1
Intermodal                             1,735        1,460           275          18.8
Brokerage                              1,173        1,160           13           1.1
Total operating income before gain
on disposition of facilities           14,533       14,845          (312   )     (2.1   )
Gain on disposition of facilities      -            392             (392   )     (100.0 )
Total operating income               $ 14,533     $ 15,237     $    (704   )     (4.6   )%
Operating ratio:
Truckload                              92.7    %    91.8    %
Dedicated                              88.6         88.0
Intermodal                             90.4         91.7
Brokerage                              93.3         94.0
Consolidated operating ratio before
gain on disposition of facilities      91.6    %    91.2    %
Consolidated operating ratio           91.6    %    91.0    %
MARTEN TRANSPORT, LTD.
SEGMENT INFORMATION
(Unaudited)
                                                               Dollar           Percentage
                                                               Change           Change
                                     Year                      Year             Year
                                     Ended                     Ended            Ended
                                     December 31,              December 31,     December 31,
(Dollars in thousands)                 2016         2015       2016 vs. 2015    2016 vs. 2015
Operating revenue:
Truckload revenue, net of fuel
surcharge revenue                    $ 339,967    $ 348,101    $    (8,134  )   (2.3   )%
Truckload fuel surcharge revenue       35,884       50,260          (14,376 )   (28.6  )
Total Truckload revenue                375,851      398,361         (22,510 )   (5.7   )
Dedicated revenue, net of fuel
surcharge revenue                      147,007      107,264         39,743      37.1
Dedicated fuel surcharge revenue       10,363       11,008          (645    )   (5.9   )
Total Dedicated revenue                157,370      118,272         39,098      33.1
Intermodal revenue, net of fuel
surcharge revenue                      64,508       65,877          (1,369  )   (2.1   )
Intermodal fuel surcharge revenue      6,982        11,081          (4,099  )   (37.0  )
Total Intermodal revenue               71,490       76,958          (5,468  )   (7.1   )
Brokerage revenue                      66,433       71,403          (4,970  )   (7.0   )
Total operating revenue              $ 671,144    $ 664,994    $    6,150       0.9    %
Operating income:
Truckload                            $ 27,438     $ 35,517     $    (8,079  )   (22.7  )%
Dedicated                              19,550       12,818          6,732       52.5
Intermodal                             7,131        4,832           2,299       47.6
Brokerage                              4,184        3,792           392         10.3
Total operating income before gain
on disposition of facilities           58,303       56,959          1,344       2.4
Gain on disposition of facilities      -            4,104           (4,104  )   (100.0 )
Total operating income               $ 58,303     $ 61,063     $    (2,760  )   (4.5   )%
Operating ratio:
Truckload                              92.7    %    91.1    %
Dedicated                              87.6         89.2
Intermodal                             90.0         93.7
Brokerage                              93.7         94.7
Consolidated operating ratio before
gain on disposition of facilities      91.3    %    91.4    %
Consolidated operating ratio           91.3    %    90.8    %
MARTEN TRANSPORT, LTD.
OPERATING STATISTICS
(Unaudited)
                                             Three Months                  Year
                                             Ended December 31,            Ended December 31,
                                                2016           2015           2016           2015
Truckload Segment:
Revenue (in thousands)                       $  96,566      $  95,838      $  375,851     $  398,361
Average revenue, net of fuel surcharges,
per tractor per week                         $  3,456       $  3,400       $  3,427       $  3,529
Average tractors                                1,903          1,921          1,898          1,892
Average miles per trip                          608            639            623            666
Non-revenue miles percentage                    9.1     %      9.4     %      9.2     %      9.4      %
Total miles (in thousands)                      46,786         45,098         184,281        186,268
Dedicated Segment:
Revenue (in thousands)                       $  40,362      $  36,000      $  157,370     $  118,272
Average revenue, net of fuel surcharges,
per tractor per week                         $  3,448       $  3,405       $  3,432       $  3,433
Average tractors                                820            745            819            599
Average miles per trip                          295            324            301            347
Non-revenue miles percentage                    0.8     %      1.5     %      0.8     %      1.6      %
Total miles (in thousands)                      18,826         17,499         75,333         57,381
Intermodal Segment:
Revenue (in thousands)                       $  18,147      $  17,689      $  71,490      $  76,958
Loads                                           9,273          8,639          35,947         36,404
Average tractors                                76             82             76             89
Brokerage Segment:
Revenue (in thousands)                       $  17,586      $  19,246      $  66,433      $  71,403
Loads                                           12,926         13,228         49,721         48,060
At December 31, 2016 and December 31, 2015:
Total tractors                                  2,785          2,740
Average age of company tractors (in years)      1.4            1.5
Total trailers                                  4,854          4,700
Average age of company trailers (in years)      2.7            2.6
Ratio of trailers to tractors                   1.7            1.7
                                             Three Months                  Year
                                             Ended December 31,            Ended December 31,
(In thousands)                                  2016           2015           2016           2015
Net cash provided by operating activities    $  29,425      $  26,816      $  133,566     $  128,238
Net cash (used for) investing activities        (28,448 )      (21,555 )      (97,290 )      (125,081 )
Net cash (used for) financing activities        (664    )      (4,972  )      (36,222 )      (2,846   )
Weighted average shares outstanding:
Basic                                           32,598         33,248         32,506         33,477
Diluted                                         32,770         33,434         32,677         33,715

(1) Includes tractors driven by both company-employed drivers and independent contractors. Independent contractors provided 68 and 65 tractors as of December 31, 2016 and 2015, respectively.

(2) Represents the percentage of miles for which the company is not compensated.

CONTACTS: Tim Kohl, President, and Jim Hinnendael, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, of Marten Transport, Ltd., 715-926-4216.

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