Expansion Will Pay Off In 2007

Article Excerpt

ARKANSAS BEST CORP. $41 (Nasdaq symbol ABFS; Aggressive Growth Portfolio, Manufacturing & Industry sector; WSSF Rating: Average) specializes in less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping, which combines freight from multiple customers into a single vehicle. LTL services supply 90% of its revenue. In the three months ended September 30, 2006, earnings from continuing operations fell 21.5%, to $1.24 a share from $1.58 a year earlier. If you disregard unusual items, per-share profits grew 5.0%, to $1.26 from $1.20. Revenue rose 9.5%, to $507.3 million from $463.3 million. A growing part of the company’s business is coming from short-haul shipments, particularly along the eastern seaboard. That’s good news, since the company earns higher profits from same-day or overnight delivery than from long-haul services. To take advantage of this trend, Arkansas Best has expanded its workforce and upgraded its trucks in the past few months. Arkansas Best is among the most efficient LTL trucking companies in the United States, but integrating these new employees and equipment increased its…

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