Swift Transportation said earnings per share during the first quarter will fall between $0.11 and $0.13, a lower-than-expected range that comes as a result of severe weather and its impact on volumes, and fuel and other expenses.
The company did point out, however, that first-quarter utilization improved during each month of the quarter, despite being down when compared to the first quarter of 2013. Swift's intermodal and dedicated segments are both also growing, it said.
"While we are disappointed by the impact of the extraordinary challenges we experienced with the weather this quarter, we are optimistic about the underlying fundamentals we are seeing in the market and the traction we are gaining on our internal initiatives," Richard Stocking, Swift's president and chief operating officer, said in a statement. "Capacity remains tight, demand is increasing, we are gaining momentum with pricing, and we are starting to realize positive results from our strategic initiatives. We are focused on servicing our customers and drivers and executing on our goals. The weather slowed us down temporarily, but we are excited about our future.”
Cowen and Company said its earnings-per-share predictions for the company topped out at $0.25 per share, but that this early estimate didn't include the impact of the harsh winter weather.