updated 10/19/2010 4:16:38 PM ET 2010-10-19T20:16:38

MONDOVI, Wis., Oct. 19, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Marten Transport, Ltd. (Nasdaq:MRTN) today reported a 57.9% increase in net income to $5.5 million, or 25 cents per diluted share, for the third quarter ended September 30, 2010, from $3.5 million, or 16 cents per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2009. The third-quarter earnings also improved sequentially from 2010 second-quarter net income of $5.2 million, or 23 cents per diluted share. For the nine-month period of 2010, net income increased to $14.5 million, or 66 cents per diluted share, compared with $12.0 million, or 55 cents per diluted share, for the same nine-month period of 2009.

Operating revenue, consisting of revenue from truckload and logistics operations, was $128.7 million in the third quarter of 2010 compared with $129.4 million in the 2009 quarter. Operating revenue increased to $380.3 million in the nine-month period of 2010 from $377.2 million in the first nine months of 2009. Operating revenue, net of fuel surcharges, decreased 3.4% to $109.8 million in the 2010 quarter from $113.7 million in the 2009 quarter and decreased 3.8% to $325.2 million in the 2010 nine-month period from $338.1 million in the 2009 nine-month period. Operating revenue included fuel surcharges of $18.8 million for the third quarter of 2010, compared with $15.7 million in the 2009 quarter and $55.1 million for the 2010 nine-month period, compared with $39.1 million for the 2009 nine-month period.

Operating expenses as a percentage of operating revenue, with both amounts net of fuel surcharge revenue, improved to 90.9% for the third quarter of 2010 from 94.3% for the third quarter of 2009 and improved to 91.9% for the 2010 nine-month period from 93.7% for the 2009 nine-month period.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Randolph L. Marten said, "We continue to be encouraged by our increased profitability. Our transformation into a multi-faceted business model -- the growth of our logistics business and focus on expansion of our regional operations throughout the country -- continues to drive positive results.

"Our logistics revenue continues to expand as a percentage of our revenue. In the third quarter of 2010, our logistics revenue, net of intermodal fuel surcharges, grew $1.1 million over the 2009 quarter, and, for the 2010 nine-month period, grew $7.1 million over the 2009 nine-month period. Our regional operations continue to thrive, contributing to a 13.2% increase in our average truckload revenue, net of fuel surcharges, per tractor per week, in this year's third quarter over last year's third quarter, and a 3.8% increase over this year's second quarter. We have increased our regional operations to 48.2% of our truckload fleet as of September 30, 2010 from 21.7% as of a year earlier.   

"As evidence of our confidence that we can deliver long-term, sustainable growth, we paid our first quarterly cash dividend to stockholders in the third quarter of 2010."

Marten Transport, with headquarters in Mondovi, Wis., is one of the leading temperature-sensitive truckload carriers in the United States. Marten specializes in transporting and distributing food and other consumer packaged goods that require a temperature-controlled or insulated environment. 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, including the Company's confidence that it can deliver long-term, sustainable growth. These statements 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, 2009. The Company undertakes no obligation to correct or update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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