Pam Transportation Services announced Monday after the market close that first-quarter earnings were roughly half the prior-year result.

The Tontitown, Arkansas-based truckload carrier reported adjusted net income of $12.7 million, or 57 cents per share. That compared to one analyst’s estimate of 42 cents per share and $1.18 a year ago. The adjusted number excluded $10 million, or 34 cents, in loss estimates for claims that are expected to settle above insurance policy limits.

Pam’s (NASDAQ: PTSI) consolidated revenue was down 1% year over year (y/y) excluding fuel surcharges, to $194 million.

Table: Pam Transportation’s key performance indicators

As the truckload market loosened and rates declined, so did the carrier’s TL metrics. Total TL revenue was 4% higher y/y, but average trucks in service increased by 18% primarily due to the June acquisition of Metropolitan Trucking.

Loaded miles were up 19%, but revenue per loaded mile (excluding fuel) was off 16% to $2.56.

The TL segment recorded a 99.3% operating ratio (the inverse of operating margin) and 92.8% excluding the $10 million loss, 1,140 basis points worse y/y. On a consolidated basis, salaries, wages and benefits, operating supplies, and insurance and claims expenses were up roughly 400 bps as a percentage of revenue.

The company’s logistics unit, which includes brokerage, reported a 4% decline in revenue to $68 million. The OR was basically flat y/y at 88.8%.

Pam ended the quarter with $194 million in cash, equity securities and availability on its revolver compared to outstanding debt of $251 million, a $13 million reduction since the close of 2022.

Chart: (SONAR: OTRI.USA). A proxy for truck capacity, the Outbound Tender Reject Index, shows the number of loads being rejected by carriers. The index has fallen to below 3% compared to a little more than a year ago when fleets were rejecting more than 20% of loads under contract. To learn more about FreightWaves SONAR, click here.

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