Top Freight Companies To Watch For 2015

Although we don’t believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes — just in case they’re material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Liquidity Services (NASDAQ: LQDT  ) have jumped today by as much as 13% after the company said sales posted a big increase last month.

So what: The company said that sales rose 18% last month relative to the same period a year prior to $258 million. That was on target with Liquidity Services’ previously provided guidance. The news gave investors relief, especially following the plunge in January on disappointing outlook.

Now what: Robert Baird analyst Colin Sebastian said that organic growth had increased to 10% last month, a significant improvement compared to the negative organic growth posted in the first two months of the year. The analyst remains bullish with an “outperform” rating. Liquidity Services is set to report full earnings on May 2 for the first quarter.

Top Freight Companies To Watch For 2015: Hub Group Inc (HUBG)

Hub Group, Inc., incorporated on March 8, 1995, is an asset-light freight transportation management companies. The Company offers intermodal, truck brokerage and logistics services. The Company operates distinct business segments: Mode, which includes the acquired Mode business acquired by the Company on April 1, 2011, and Hub, which is all business other than Mode. Both segments offer intermodal, truck brokerage and logistics services. Hub operates through a network of operating centers throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. Hub services a diversified customer base in a broad range of industries, including consumer products, retail and durable goods. Mode markets and operates its freight transportation services primarily through its network of independent business owners (IBOs) who enter into contracts with Mode. Mode’s company managed operation includes a business arranging for the transportation of raw materials and finished products for a food producer and, t o a lesser extent, other highway brokerage, intermodal and logistics operations.

Intermodal

As an intermodal marketing company (IMC), the Company arranges for the movement of its customers freight in containers and trailers, typically over long distances of 750 miles or more. The Company contracts with railroads to provide transportation for the long-haul portions of the shipment and with local trucking companies, known as drayage companies, for pickup and delivery. As part of the Company’s intermodal services, the Company negotiates rail and drayage rates, electronically tracks shipments in transit, consolidate billing and handle claims for freight loss or damage on behalf of its customers.

The Company uses its network to access containers and trailers owned by leasing companies, railroads and steamship lines. The Company is able to track trailers and containers entering a service area and reuses that equipment to fulfill the customer s’ outbound shipping requirements. As of December 31, 2012, ! Hub had access to approximately 9,111 rail-owned containers for the Company’s dedicated use on the Union Pacific (UP) and the Norfolk Southern (NS) rails. In addition to these rail-owned containers, as of December 31, 2012, the Company had a total of 14,756 53-inch private containers for use on the UP and NS. The Company financed 6,167 of these containers with operating leases and the Company owns 8,589 containers.

As of December 31, 2012, approximately 66% of the Company’s drayage needs were met by its subsidiary, Comtrak Logistics, Inc. (Comtrak), which assists its customers. Comtrak has terminals in Atlanta, Birmingham, Charleston, Charlotte, Chattanooga, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus (OH), Dallas, Harrisburg, Huntsville, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Memphis, Nashville, Newark, Los Angeles, Perry (FL), Philadelphia, Savannah, Seattle, St. Louis, Stockton, and Titusville (FL). As of December 31, 2012, Comtrak owned 260 tractors, leased or owned 448 trailers, employed 296 drivers and contracted with 2,178 owner-operators.

Truck Brokerage (Highway Services)

The Company is a truck broker in the United States. As part of the truck brokerage services, the Company negotiates rates , track shipments in transit and handle claims for freights loss and damage on behalf of its customers.

Logistics and Other Services

Hub’s logistics business operates under the name of Unyson Logistics. Unyson Logistics consists of a network of logistics professionals dedicated to developing, implementing and operating customized logistics solutions. Unyson offers a range of transportation management services and technology solutions, including shipment optimization, load consolidation, mode selection, carrier management, load planning and execution and Web-based shipment visibility. Unyson Logistics operates throughout North America, providing operations through its main operating loca tion in St. Louis with additional support locations in Bosto! n, Chicag! o, Cleveland and Minneapolis. Certain Mode agents provide logistics services. The Company’s multi-modal transportation capabilities through both the Hub and Mode segments include small parcel, heavyweight, expedited, less-than-truckload, truckload, intermodal and railcar.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Hub Group (NASDAQ: HUBG) surged 3.13% to $44.20. The volume of Hub Group shares traded was 388% higher than normal. Hub Group reported its Q1 earnings of $0.33 per share on revenue of $848.40 million. Longbow Research upgraded Hub Group from Neutral to Buy.

Top Freight Companies To Watch For 2015: Marten Transport Ltd (MRTN)

Marten Transport, Ltd. is a temperature-sensitive truckload carrier. The Company specializes in transporting and distributing food and other consumer packaged goods that require a temperature-controlled or insulated environment. It operates throughout the United States and in parts of Canada and Mexico. The Company operates in two segments: Truckload and Logistics. During the year ended December 31, 2011, approximately 81% of its truckload revenue resulted from hauling temperature-sensitive products and 19% from hauling dry freight. Its long-haul traffic lanes are between the Midwest and the West Coast, Southwest, Southeast, and the East Coast, as well as from California to the Pacific Northwest. It provides regional truckload carrier services in the Southeast, West Coast, Midwest, South Central and Northeast regions.

The Company derives truckload revenue from fuel surcharges, loading and unloading activities, equipment detention and other ancillary services. Its operating revenue also includes revenue reported within its Logistics segment, which consists of revenue from its internal brokerage and intermodal operations, and through its 45% interest in MW Logistics, LLC (MWL), a third-party provider of logistics services to the transportation industry. Brokerage services involve arranging for another company to transport freight for the Company’s customers, while it retains the billing, collection and customer management responsibilities. Intermodal services involve the transport of its trailers on railroad flatcars for a portion of a trip, with the balance of the trip using its tractors or, to a lesser extent, contracted carriers. It focuses on large food and consumer-packaged goods companies whose products require temperature-sensitive services and who ship multiple truckloads per week. As of December 31, 2011, its customers were General Mills and Kraft.

As of December 31, 2011, the Company operated a fleet of 2,2 81 tractors, including 2,233 company owned tractors and 48 t! ractors supplied by independent contractors. The average age of its company owned tractor fleet at December 31, 2011 was approximately 2.6 years. As of December 31, 2011, it operated a fleet of 4,124 trailers. Most of its trailers are equipped with Thermo-King refrigeration units, air ride suspensions and anti-lock brakes. The average age of its trailer fleet as of December 31, 2011 was approximately 2.4 years.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Marten Transport (NASDAQ: MRTN) is estimated to post its Q3 earnings at $0.23 per share on revenue of $168.28 million.

    CSX (NYSE: CSX) is expected to post its Q3 earnings at $0.43 per share on revenue of $2.95 billion.

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    Marten Transport (Nasdaq: MRTN  ) reported earnings on July 16. Here are the numbers you need to know.

    The 10-second takeaway
    For the quarter ended June 30 (Q2), Marten Transport missed estimates on revenues and missed estimates on earnings per share.

Top Freight Companies To Watch For 2015: Agility Public Warehousing Co KSC (AGLTY)

Agility Public Warehousing Company KSC is a Kuwait-based company engaged, along with its subsidiaries, in the provision of global integrated logistics solutions. The Company is organized into two business segments: the Logistic and Related services segment provides logistics offering to its clients, including freight forwarding, transportation, contract logistics, project logistics and fairs and events logistics, and the Infrastructure segment provides other services, which include industrial real estate airport and airplane ground handling and cleaning services, customs consulting, private equity and waste recycling. The Company operates under the brand name of Agility. The Company’s subsidiaries include Global Express Transport Co. WLL, PWC Transport Company WLL, Agility DGS Logistics Services KSCC and Gulf Catering Company for General, among others. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Fiona MacDonald]

    The Kuwait SE Price Index rose for a sixth day, climbing 0.5 percent to 6,851.17 at the close. Kuwait Real Estate Co. (KRE) climbed to the highest level in a month. Agility (AGLTY) advanced 1.7 percent after winning a $190 million UN contract in Sudan’s Darfur region. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index, which tracks the biggest 200 companies in the Gulf Cooperation Council, fell 0.1 percent.

Top Freight Companies To Watch For 2015: Vitran Corporation Inc (VTNC)

Vitran Corporation Inc. (Vitran), incorporated on April 29, 1981, is a provider of freight surface transportation and related supply chain services throughout Canada 34 states in the eastern, southeastern, central, southwestern, and western United States. The Company’s business consists of Less-than-truckload services (LTL). These services are provided by stand-alone business units within their respective regions. Vitran’s business is carried on through its subsidiaries, which hold the licenses and permits required to carry on business. As of December 31, 2012, Vitran’s principal wholly owned operating subsidiaries included Vitran Express Canada Inc. (Ontario), Can-Am Logistics Inc. (Ontario), Vitran Logistics Ltd. (Ontario), Expediteur T.W. Ltee (Canada), Vitran Corporation (Nevada), Vitran Express Inc. (Pennsylvania), Vitran Logistics Corp. (Delaware), Vitran Logistics Inc. (Indiana), and Las Vegas/L.A. Express, Inc. (California). In March 2013, Vitran Corp Inc com pleted divestiture of its Supply Chain Operation division to Legacy Supply Chain. In October 2013, Vitran Corporation Inc. completed the sale of its United States LTL business.

LTL Services

Within Canada, the Company provides next-day service within Ontario, Quebec and parts of western Canada, and generates its revenue from the movement of LTL freight within the three- to five-day east-west service lanes. The majority of its trans-Canada freight is shipped intermodally, whereby the Company’s containers are loaded onto rail cars and trans-loaded to Vitran facilities where Vitran’s network of owner operators pick up and deliver the freight to various destinations. During 2012, Vitran’s Canadian LTL business represented approximately 27.6% of total LTL revenues. Vitran’s Transborder Service Solution (inter-regional) provides over-the-road service between its Canadian LTL and United States LTL business units.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Breaking news

    Vitran Corporation (NASDAQ: VTNC) announced today that it has entered into a definitive arrangement agreement with TransForce pursuant to which TransForce has agreed to acquire all of the outstanding common shares of Vitran not already owned by TransForce for US$6.50 in cash per share, in accordance with TransForce’s prior proposal. To read the full news, click here. ReneSola (NYSE: SOL) today announced it signed a Memorandum of Intent (MOI) to sell three utility-scale projects in Western China, with a total capacity of 60MW, to Jiangsu Akcome Solar Science & Technology Co on December 30, 2013. To read the full news, click here. Cooper Tire & Rubber Company (NYSE: CTB) today announced it has terminated the merger agreement with Apollo Tyres (NSE:ApolloTYRE). To read the full news, click here. RedHill Biopharma (NASDAQ: RDHL) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with leading healthcare investor OrbiMed Israel Partners Limited Partnership, an affiliate of OrbiMed Advisors LLC, for the sale of RedHill’s American Depository Shares and warrants in a private placement transactionor a total sum of $6.0 million. To read the full news, click here.

    Posted-In: Guggenheim US Stock FuturesNews Eurozone Futures Global Pre-Market Outlook Markets

Top Freight Companies To Watch For 2015: Con-way Inc (CNW)

Con-way Inc. (Con-way), incorporated in 1958, provides transportation, logistics and supply-chain management services for a wide range of manufacturing, industrial and retail customers. Con-way’s business units operate in regional and transcontinental less-than-truckload and full-truckload freight transportation, contract logistics and supply-chain management, multimodal freight brokerage, and trailer manufacturing. Con-way is divided into four segments: Freight, Logistics, Truckload, and Other. At December 31, 2011, Con-way Freight operated 286 freight service centers, of which 144 were owned and 142 were leased. At December 31, 2011, Con-way Freight owned and operated approximately 9,200 tractors and 26,400 trailers, including tractors held under capital lease agreements.

Freight

The Freight segment consists of the operating results of the Con-way Freight business unit. Con-way Freight is a less-than-truckload (LTL) motor carrier that utilize s a network of freight service centers to provide day-definite regional, inter-regional and transcontinental less-than-truckload freight services throughout North America. LTL carriers transport shipments from multiple shippers utilizing a network of freight service centers combined with a fleet of line-haul and pickup-and-delivery tractors and trailers. Freight is picked up from customers and consolidated for shipment at the originating service center. Freight is consolidated for transportation to the destination service centers or freight assembly centers. At Freight assembly centers, freight from various service centers can be reconsolidated for transportation to other freight assembly centers or destination service centers. From the destination service center, the freight is delivered to the customer. Typically, LTL shipments weigh between 100 and 15,000 pounds. In 2011, Con-way Freight’s average weight per shipment was 1,305 pounds.

Logistics

The Logistics segment consists of the operating results o! f the Menlo Worldwide Logistics business unit. Menlo Worldwide Logistics develops contract-logistics solutions, which can include managing complex distribution networks, and providing supply-chain engineering and consulting, and multimodal freight brokerage services. Menlo Worldwide Logistics’ supply-chain management offerings are primarily related to transportation-management and contract-warehousing services. Transportation management refers to the management of asset-based carriers and third-party transportation providers for customers’ inbound and outbound supply-chain needs through the use of logistics management systems to consolidate, book and track shipments. Contract warehousing refers to the optimization and operation of warehouses for customers using technology and warehouse-management systems to reduce inventory carrying costs and supply-chain cycle times. For several customers, contract-warehousing operations include light assembly or kitting operations.

Menlo Worldwide Logistics provides its services using a customer- or project-based approach when the supply-chain solution requires customer-specific transportation management, single-client warehouses, and/or single-customer technological solutions. However, Menlo Worldwide Logistics also utilizes a shared-resource, process-based approach that leverages a centralized transportation-management group, multi-client warehouses and technology to provide scalable solutions to multiple customers. Additionally, Menlo Worldwide Logistics segments its business based on customer type. At December 31, 2011, Menlo Worldwide Logistics operated 76 warehouses in North America, of which 55 were leased by Menlo Worldwide Logistics and 21 were leased or owned by clients of Menlo Worldwide Logistics. Outside of North America, Menlo Worldwide Logistics operated an additional 63 warehouses, of which 48 were leased by Menlo Worldwide Logistics and 15 were leased or owned by clients. Men lo Worldwide Logistics owns and operates a small fleet of tr! actors an! d trailers to support its operations, but primarily utilizes third-party transportation providers for the movement of customer shipments.

Truckload

The Truckload segment consists of the operating results of the Con-way Truckload business unit. Con-way Truckload is a full-truckload motor carrier that utilizes a fleet of tractors and trailers to provide short- and long-haul, asset-based transportation services throughout North America. Con-way Truckload provides dry-van transportation services to manufacturing, industrial and retail customers while using single drivers as well as two-person driver teams over long-haul routes, with each trailer containing only one customer’s goods. This origin-to-destination freight movement limits intermediate handling and is not dependent on the same network of locations utilized by LTL carriers. On average, Con-way Truckload transports shipments more than 800 miles from origin to destination. Under its regional s ervice offering, Con-way Truckload transports truckload shipments of less than 600 miles, including local-area service for truckload shipments of less than 100 miles.

Con-way Truckload offers through-trailer service into and out of Mexico through all major gateways in Texas, Arizona and California. For a shipment with an origin or destination in Mexico, Con-way Truckload provides transportation for the domestic portion of the freight move, and a Mexican carrier provides the pick-up, linehaul and delivery services within Mexico. At December 31, 2011, Con-way Truckload operated five owned terminals with bulk fuel, tractor and trailer parking, and in some cases, equipment maintenance and washing facilities. In addition, Con-way Truckload also utilizes various drop yards for temporary trailer storage throughout the United States. At December 31, 2011, Con-way Truckload owned and operated approximately 2,700 tractors and 8,000 trailers, including tractors held under capital lease agreements.

Other

! The Other! reporting segment consists of the operating results of Road Systems, a trailer manufacturer, and certain corporate activities for which the related income or expense has not been allocated to other reporting segments, including results related to corporate re-insurance activities and corporate properties. Road Systems primarily manufactures and refurbishes trailers for Con-way Freight and Con-way Truckload.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Wunderlich’s Nicholas Bender thinks FedEx’s results bode well for Old Dominion (ODFL), Con-way (CNW) and Saia (SAIA):

    We expect all less-than-truckload carriers to benefit in 2Q14 from the same trends that carried FedEx Freight to a banner 4Q14. This includes Hold-rated Old Dominion, which will continue to grow at well above market rates, and Buy-rated Con-way, which we believe can leverage a strong 2Q14 to prime the pump on margin enhancement efforts. Our favorite name in the space remains Saia (SAIA-$42.92, Buy), which will once again see accelerating tonnage growth in 2Q14. Though tonnage growth will moderate in  2H14 due to steeper comps, there remains considerable potential for the company to boost yield and continue winning incremental business with new accounts.

  • [By John Kell]

    Con-way Inc.(CNW) issued a weaker-than-expected profit outlook for the fourth quarter after the trucking company encountered challenges at its Con-way Freight and Menlo Worldwide Logistics operations. The company’s shares declined 6.1% to $38.89 premarket.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Shares of Atlas Air have plunged 15% to $37.13 today at 1:48 p.m., on what has been a lousy day for shippers and those involved with shipping. Trucking company Con-Way (CNW) has fallen 2.5% to $40.38 after it said earnings would be unchanged from a year ago, well short of analyst forecasts. FedEx (FDX) has dropped 0.7% following UPS’s miss.

Top Freight Companies To Watch For 2015: Werner Enterprises Inc (WERN)

Werner Enterprises, Inc., incorporated on September 14, 1982, is a transportation and logistics company engaged primarily in hauling truckload shipments of general commodities in both interstate and intrastate commerce. The Company also provides logistics services through its value added services (VAS) division. As of the year ended December 31, 2012, the Company had a fleet of 7,150 trucks, of which 6,505 were Company-operated and 645 were owned and operated by independent contractors. The Company operates in two segments: Truckload Transportation Services (Truckload) and VAS.

Truckload segment

The Company’s Truckload segment consists of the One-Way Truckload and Specialized Services units. One-Way Truckload includes the operating fleets: the regional short-haul (Regional) fleet transports a variety of consumer nondurable products and other commodities in truckload quantities within geographic regions across the United States using dry van trai lers; the medium-to-long-haul van (Van) fleet provides comparable truckload van service over irregular routes, and the expedited (Expedited) fleet provides time-sensitive truckload services utilizing driver teams.

Specialized Services provides truckload services dedicated to a specific customer, generally for a retail distribution center or manufacturing facility, including services for products requiring specialized trailers such as flatbed or temperature-controlled trailers. The Company’s Truckload fleets operate throughout the 48 contiguous United States, both common and contract, granted by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT). The Company also has authority to operate in several provinces of Canada and to provide through-trailer service into and out of Mexico. The principal types of freight the Company transports include retail store merchandise, consumer products, grocery products and manufactured products. The Company focuses on transport ing consumer nondurable products that generally ship.

!

VAS segment

The Company’s VAS segment is a non-asset-based transportation and logistics provider. VAS is consists of four operating units that provide non-trucking services to the Company’s customers: truck brokerage (Brokerage) uses contracted carriers to complete customer shipments; freight management (Freight Management) offers a range of single-source logistics management services and solutions; the intermodal (Intermodal) unit offers rail transportation through alliances with rail and drayage providers as an alternative to truck transportation, and Werner Global Logistics international (WGL) provides complete management of global shipments from origin to destination using a combination of air, ocean, truck and rail transportation modes. The Company’s Brokerage unit had transportation services contracts with approximately 9,400 carriers as of December 31, 2012.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Mike Deane]

    Werner Enterprises (WERN) announced its third quarter earnings after the bell on Thursday, posting a 1% change in revenues from last year’s Q3, but a 15% drop in net income.

    The Omaha, NE-based logistics and transportation company announced Q3 revenue of $511.73 million, which was up slightly from last year’s $506.50 million revenue figure. WERN reported net income for the quarter of $21.53 million, or 29 cents per diluted share, which was down from last year’s Q3 earnings of $25.13 million, or 34 cents per diluted share.

    The company was able to meet analyst views of 29 cents EPS, and slightly surpass the revenue estimate of $503.82 million.

    WERN shares were up 21 cents, or 0.90%, at Thursday’s market close, but were edging lower in after-hours trading. YTD, the company’s stock is up just over 4%.

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Werner Enterprises (NASDAQ: WERN) is expected to post its Q3 earnings at $0.29 per share on revenue of $503.82 million.

    Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) is estimated to post its Q3 earnings at $2.78 per share on revenue of $820.28 million.

Top Freight Companies To Watch For 2015: Universal Truckload Services Inc (UACL)

Universal Truckload Services, Inc., incorporated on December 11, 2001, is engaged in providing transportation services to shippers throughout the United States and in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec. The Company’s over-the-road trucking services include both flatbed and dry van operations and it provides rail-truck and steamship-truck intermodal support services. It also offers truck brokerage services, as well as full service international freight forwarding and customs house brokerage services. The Company provides truckload transportation and related services for a range of general commodities over irregular routes using dry and specialty vans and un-sided trailers, including flatbed, drop deck, and specialty. In December 2013, the Company announced that it has completed acquisition of Westport Axle Corporation.

The Company primarily operates through a contractor network of agents and owner-operators who provide the Company with approximately 3,100 tractors and approximately 3,000 trailers. At December 31, 2011, the Company had approximately 565 agents. The Company conducts its operations through its wholly owned operating subsidiaries under the brand names, such as Universal Am-Can, Ltd., Mason & Dixon Lines, Inc., Louisiana Transportation Inc., Mason Dixon Intermodal, Inc., Economy Transport, Inc., Great American Lines, Inc., Universal Logistics Solutions, Inc., Universal Logistics Solutions International, Inc. and Cavalry Transportation, LLC.

The Company provides services in three categories, such as truckload services, brokerage services and intermodal support services. The Company transports a range of general commodities, including machinery, building materials, paper, food, consumer goods, automotive parts, furniture, steel and other metals. During the year ended December 31, 2011, its truckload operations represented 60.5%, of its operating revenues.

The Company provides primari ly broker freight to third-party transportation providers th! rough its agent network at times when the Company generates more freight business than it can service with its available owner-operators. The Company offers full service international freight forwarding and customs house brokerage services, as well as third-party logistic services. During 2011, its brokerage services represented 24.8%, of its operating revenues. Its intermodal support services are primarily short-to-medium distance delivery of rail and steamship containers between the railhead or port and the customer and drayage services. During 2011, its intermodal support services represented 14.7% of its operating revenues.

The Company’s agents provide the primary interaction with its shippers. They generate freight shipments and also provide terminal and dispatch services for the owner-operators and are an essential source for recruitment of new owner-operators. The agents use a company-provided software program to list available freight procured by the a gent, dispatch owner-operators to haul the freight and provide all administrative information necessary for it to establish the credit arrangements for each shipper. The owner-operators are individuals who own, operate and maintain one or more tractors that they either provide drivers, or drive themselves. The Company’s owner-operators provide it with approximately 3,100 tractors. Owner-operators also may own trailers that they provide the Company in addition to their tractor and driving services. As of December 31, 2011, its owner-operators provided approximately 3,000 trailers, which represent over 50% of the trailers the Company use in its business.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    Calling all cash flows
    When you are trying to buy the market’s best stocks, it’s worth checking up on your companies’ free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That’s what we do with this series. Today, we’re checking in on Universal Truckload Services (Nasdaq: UACL  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.

  • [By Sean Williams]

    What: Shares of Universal Truckload Services (NASDAQ: UACL  ) , a North American provider of trucking and logistics solutions, jumped as much as 12% after receiving an upgrade from BB&T Capital Markets.

Top Freight Companies To Watch For 2015: TNT Express NV (TNTE)

TNT Express NV is the Netherlands-based express delivery company. It collects, transports and delivers documents, parcels and freight on a time-certain or day-definite basis. The Company operates worldwide with domestic, regional and intercontinental delivery. It has own operations in more than 60 countries and can deliver to more than 200 countries through own operations, subcontractors and agents. Its customers are international companies, as well as small and medium enterprises. The Company serves industries such as technology, automotive, industrial, healthcare and lifestyle, as well as financial institutions and governments. The Company operates interconnected international air and road networks. The air network consists of a central air hub in Liege, Belgium, and a fleet of more than 50 aircrafts. The road networks are operated in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia and South America. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Inyoung Hwang]

    TNT Express NV (TNTE) lost 4.3 percent to 6.33 euros, its lowest price in four months. PostNL NV, the Dutch mail service with operations in the U.K. and Germany, said it will sell about half of its 29.8 percent stake in the Dutch package-delivery company to reduce debt. The 15 percent stake up for sale is valued at about 540 million euros ($738 million), according to data compiled by Bloomberg. PostNL gained 1.8 percent to 4.17 euros.

  • [By Robert Wall]

    One of the country’s largest employers with more than 150,000 staff, Royal Mail has shifted away from letters to more lucrative package shipping, competing with TNT Express NV (TNTE) of the Netherlands and Deutsche Post AG (DPW)’s DHL Express.

Top Freight Companies To Watch For 2015: Heartland Express Inc (HTLD)

Heartland Express, Inc. (Heartland), incorporated on August 8, 1986, is a short-to-medium haul truckload carrier. The Company provides regional dry van truckload services through its regional terminals plus its corporate headquarters. The Company transports freight for shippers and generally earns revenue based on the number of miles per load delivered. The Company’s primary traffic lanes are between customer locations east of the Rocky Mountains. The Company is a holding company of Heartland Express Inc. of Iowa, Heartland Express Services, Inc., Heartland Express Maintenance Services, Inc. and A & M Express, Inc. Heartland operates nine specialized regional distribution operations in Atlanta, Georgia; Carlisle, Pennsylvania; Chester, Virginia; Columbus, Ohio; Jacksonville, Florida; Kingsport, Tennessee; Olive Branch, Mississippi; Phoenix, Arizona, and Seagoville, Texas. The Company operates maintenance facilities at all regional distribution operating centers along wit h shop only locations in Fort Smith, Arkansas and O’Fallon, Missouri. In November 2013, Heartland Express Inc acquired 100% of the stock of Gordon Trucking, Inc.

The Company’s operations department is responsible for maintaining the continuity between the customer’s needs and Heartland’s ability to meet those needs by communicating customer’s expectations to the fleet management group. They are charged with development of customer relationships, ensuring service standards, coordinating proper freight-to-capacity balancing, trailer asset management, and daily tactical decisions pertaining to matching the customer demand with the appropriate capacity within geographical service areas. They assign orders to drivers based on well-defined criteria, such as driver safety and United States Department of Transportation (the DOT) compliance, customer needs and service requirements, on-time service, equipment utilization, driver time at home, operational effici ency, and equipment maintenance needs. Fleet management is r! esponsible for driver management and development. Their responsibilities include meeting the needs of the drivers within the standards that have been set by the organization and communicating the requirements of the customers to the drivers on each order to ensure successful execution. Serving the short-to-medium haul market (500 miles average length of haul in 2012) permits the Company to use primarily single, rather than team drivers and dispatch loads directly from origin to destination without an intermediate equipment change other than for driver scheduling purposes.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Shares of Heartland Express (HTLD) rose today despite being cut by Stifel Nicolaus for valuation reasons.

    Bloomberg News

    Shares of Heartland Express have gained 50% this year, trumping the 38% rise in Con-Way (CNW) and the 29% advance in J.B. Hunt Transport Services (JBHT) but lagging Old Dominion Freight Lines (ODFL) and Swift Transportation (SWFT).

    That big gain was enough for Stifel’s John Larkin say no mas and cut his rating on Heartland Express. They explain why:

    Downgrading from Buy to Hold as the company’s shares appear fully and fairly valued. In fact, shares have recently traded through our 12-month fair value estimate of $19 (or 16.0x our 2015 EPS estimate of $1.15 plus ~$0.68 per share NPV of future cash tax benefits).

    Rating change is primarily valuation based as well as from our view that most transportation equities are trading ahead of the still mediocre underlying freight market fundamentals.

    BB&T’s Thomas Albrecht and team, who upgraded Heartland Express to Buy from Hold yesterday, explain why they think the stock will do just fine regardless of the economy:

    Heartland is an intriguing play upon both a slow-growth economy and a rapidly growing one (along with tight capacity). Many carriers are only able to thrive in the latter environment. With HTLD we believe that even in a sluggish economy it has a self-generating EPS story through the integration and growth of Gordon. Q3’13, a very difficult quarter for TL carriers, saw HTLD post a 79.3% OR versus 83.3%.

    The timing of the Gordon deal seems ideal, similar to the Great Coastal acquisition in mid-2002. Back then the TL market was stabilizing, but had yet to really take off, which occurred in the back half of 2003. Those 4-5 quarters allowed HTLD to assess customers, integrate operations, consolidate facilities and get ready for the next cycle. By the time that occurred HTLD was ready to take advantage of the capacity

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Heartland Express (HTLD) has dropped 2.2% to $19.12 after it was cut to Hold from Buy at Stifel Nicolaus.

    Allergan (AGN) was upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo.

  • [By Lauren Pollock]

    Heartland Express Inc.(HTLD), a trucking firm steered by the Gerdin family, agreed to acquire another family controlled peer, Gordon Trucking Inc., in a transaction valued at about $300 million. Shares climbed 12% to $16.05 in light premarket trading.

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    Equities Trading UP
    Heartland Express (NASDAQ: HTLD) shot up 19.72 percent to $17.14 after the company reported that it has acquired Gordon Trucking for $300 million.

Top Freight Companies To Watch For 2015: Aurizon Holdings Ltd (QRNNF)

Aurizon Holdings Limited, formerly QR National Limited, is a rail freight operator. It owns and operates a coal network made up of 2,670 kilometers of heavy haul rail infrastructure. It provides specialist services in rail design, engineering, construction, management and maintenance, and offers supply chain solutions to a range of customers in Australia. Its business comprises three product lines. Coal business includes transport of coal from mines in Queensland and New South Wales to end customers and ports. Freight business includes transport of bulk mineral commodities, including iron ore, agricultural products, mining and industrial inputs and general freight throughout Queensland and Western Australia. Network Services business provides access to, and operation and management of the Central Queensland Coal Network. In January 2014 the Company announced that National Australia Bank Limited and its associated entities has ceased to be the substantial holder of the Company . Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By MARKETWATCH]

    LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Australia stocks enjoyed early Monday gains after an advance for commodities and U.S. stocks since the last session, with a relatively good reception for earnings. The S&P/ASX 200 (AU:XJO) improved by 0.4% to 5,376.30, with miners tracking gains in gold and copper. Rio Tinto Ltd. (AU:RIO) (RIO) added 1.3%, and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (AU:FMG) (FSUMF) traded 1.1% higher, while gold miners Newcrest Mining Ltd. (AU:NCM) (NCMGF) and Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd. (AU:KCN) (KSKGF) rallied 2.2% and 4.7%, respectively. Banks rose after Wall Street shares climbed on Friday, with National Australia Bank Ltd. (AU:NAB) (NAUBF) up 1% and Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (AU:ANZ) (ANEWF) adding 0.9%, though Commonwealth Bank of Australia (AU:CBA) (CBAUF) dropped 2.4% as it traded without rights to its latest dividend. Coal transport firm Aurizon Holdings Ltd. (AU:AZJ) (QRNNF) tacked on 2.1% as its fiscal first-half underlying profit increased 18%, though net profit f