updated 1/25/2011 4:18:08 PM ET 2011-01-25T21:18:08

MONDOVI, Wis., Jan. 25, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Marten Transport, Ltd. (Nasdaq:MRTN) today reported a 22.2% increase in net income to $5.2 million, or 24 cents per diluted share, for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2010, from $4.3 million, or 19 cents per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2009. For 2010, net income increased 21.4% to $19.7 million, or 90 cents per diluted share, from $16.3 million, or 74 cents per diluted share, for 2009.

Operating revenue, consisting of revenue from truckload and logistics operations, increased to $136.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2010 from $128.7 million in the 2009 quarter. In 2010, operating revenue increased to $516.9 million from $505.9 million in 2009. Operating revenue, net of fuel surcharges, increased 3.3% to $115.8 million in the 2010 quarter from $112.1 million in the 2009 quarter and decreased 2.0% to $441.0 million in 2010 from $450.1 million in 2009. Operating revenue included fuel surcharges of $20.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2010, compared with $16.6 million in the 2009 quarter, and $75.9 million for 2010, compared with $55.7 million for 2009.

Operating expenses as a percentage of operating revenue, with both amounts net of fuel surcharge revenue, improved to 92.2% for the fourth quarter of 2010 from 92.8% for the fourth quarter of 2009, and improved to 92.0% for 2010 from 93.5% for 2009. The ratio for 2010 was our best since 2006.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Randolph L. Marten said, "We are pleased to report increased profitability, in spite of rising fuel prices. Our ongoing transformation into a multi-faceted business model continues to produce positive results through its focus on growth in our intermodal, brokerage, regional and international operations.

"Both the brokerage and intermodal components of our logistics segment contributed to improved revenue. Logistics revenue, net of intermodal fuel surcharges, grew by $4.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2010 over the 2009 quarter, and by $12.1 million in 2010 over 2009. The increase in logistics revenue in the fourth quarter of 2010 was driven by a 15.9% increase in our intermodal revenue, a 26.5% increase in our brokerage services and a 12.8% increase in the revenue associated with our 45% interest in MW Logistics, LLC, a third-party provider of logistics services.  

"Our expanding regional operations contributed to a 5.9% fourth-quarter increase in our average truckload revenue, net of fuel surcharges, per tractor per week over last year's fourth quarter, and a 5.2% increase in 2010 over 2009. We have increased our regional operations to 51.8% of our truckload fleet as of December 31, 2010 from 25.9% as of a year earlier."

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. 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.

MARTEN TRANSPORT, LTD.

CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED BALANCE SHEETS

(Unaudited)
 
   December 31,  December 31,
(In thousands, except share information) 2010 2009
     
ASSETS    
Current assets:    
Cash and cash equivalents $5,306 $5,410
Marketable securities 138 118
Receivables:    
Trade, net 51,094 45,434
Other 12,968 4,382
Prepaid expenses and other 13,406 12,328
Deferred income taxes 4,794 5,172
Total current assets 87,706 72,844
Property and equipment:    
Revenue equipment, buildings and land, office equipment and other 515,622 491,127
Accumulated depreciation (143,563) (149,670)
Net property and equipment 372,059 341,457
Other assets 543 537
TOTAL ASSETS $460,308 $414,838
     
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY    
Current liabilities:    
Checks issued in excess of cash balances $1,066 $1,671
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities 30,524 31,896
Insurance and claims accruals 17,653 19,222
Current maturities of long-term debt 19,346 1,428
Total current liabilities 68,589 54,217
Long-term debt, less current maturities -- 71
Deferred income taxes 95,815 85,643
Total liabilities 164,404 139,931
     
     
Stockholders' equity:    
Marten Transport, Ltd. stockholders' equity:    
Preferred stock, $.01 par value per share; 2,000,000 shares authorized; no shares issued and outstanding -- --
Common stock, $.01 par value per share; 48,000,000 shares authorized; 21,950,252 shares at December 31, 2010, and 21,885,073 shares at December 31, 2009, issued and outstanding 220 219
Additional paid-in capital 78,428 76,477
Retained earnings 215,345 196,480
Total Marten Transport, Ltd. stockholders' equity 293,993 273,176
Noncontrolling interest 1,911 1,731
Total stockholders' equity 295,904 274,907
TOTAL LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY  $460,308  $414,838
 
MARTEN TRANSPORT, LTD.

CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS

(Unaudited)
 
   Three Months  Year
   Ended December 31,   Ended December 31, 
(In thousands, except per share information) 2010 2009 2010 2009
         
OPERATING REVENUE $136,572 $128,720 $516,920 $505,874
         
OPERATING EXPENSES (INCOME):        
Salaries, wages and benefits 34,366 32,634 131,519 138,752
Purchased transportation 30,028 28,700 110,408 106,577
Fuel and fuel taxes 30,609 27,180 114,927 99,898
Supplies and maintenance 9,335 9,217 35,218 38,223
Depreciation 13,383 12,978 51,916 53,069
Operating taxes and licenses 1,638 1,703 6,222 6,672
Insurance and claims 4,324 4,341 16,573 19,896
Communications and utilities 954 1,092 3,964 4,170
Gain on disposition of revenue equipment (298) (35) (1,110) (1,630)
Other 3,157 2,841 11,994 10,888
         
Total operating expenses 127,496 120,651 481,631 476,515
         
OPERATING INCOME 9,076 8,069 35,289 29,359
         
NET INTEREST EXPENSE (INCOME) 10 13 (26) 32
         
INCOME BEFORE INCOME TAXES 9,066 8,056 35,315 29,327
Less: Income before income taxes         
  attributable to noncontrolling interest 266 230 631 584
         
INCOME BEFORE INCOME TAXES        
ATTRIBUTABLE TO MARTEN        
TRANSPORT, LTD. 8,800 7,826 34,684 28,743
         
PROVISION FOR INCOME TAXES 3,590 3,561 14,942 12,476
         
NET INCOME $5,210 $4,265 $19,742 $16,267
         
BASIC EARNINGS PER COMMON SHARE $0.24 $0.19 $0.90 $0.74
         
DILUTED EARNINGS PER COMMON SHARE $0.24 $0.19 $0.90 $0.74
         
DIVIDENDS PAID PER COMMON SHARE $0.02 $ --  $0.04 $ -- 
 
MARTEN TRANSPORT, LTD.

SEGMENT INFORMATION

(Unaudited)
 
  Three Months  Dollar Change  Percentage Change
  Ended Three Months Ended Three Months Ended
   December 31,  December 31,  December 31,
(Dollars in thousands) 2010 2009  2010 vs. 2009   2010 vs. 2009
Operating revenue:        
Truckload revenue, net of fuel surcharge        
revenue $82,935 $84,155 $(1,220) (1.4)%
Truckload fuel surcharge revenue 18,292 14,747 3,545 24.0
Total Truckload revenue 101,227 98,902 2,325 2.4
         
Logistics revenue, net of intermodal fuel        
surcharge revenue 32,859 27,929 4,930 17.7
Intermodal fuel surcharge revenue 2,486 1,889 597 31.6
Total Logistics revenue 35,345 29,818 5,527 18.5
         
Total operating revenue $136,572 $128,720 $7,852 6.1%
         
Operating income:        
Truckload $6,921 $6,250 $671 10.7%
Logistics 2,155 1,819 336 18.5
Total operating income $9,076 $8,069 $1,007 12.5%
         
Operating ratio:        
Truckload 93.2% 93.7%   (0.5)%
Logistics 93.9 93.9   --
Consolidated operating ratio 93.4% 93.7%   (0.3)%
 
MARTEN TRANSPORT, LTD.

SEGMENT INFORMATION

(Unaudited)
 
  Year  Dollar Change  Percentage Change
  Ended Year Ended Year Ended
   December 31,  December 31,  December 31,
(Dollars in thousands) 2010 2009  2010 vs. 2009   2010 vs. 2009
Operating revenue:        
Truckload revenue, net of fuel surcharge        
revenue $325,791 $346,983 $(21,192) (6.1)%
Truckload fuel surcharge revenue 66,973 49,812 17,161 34.5
Total Truckload revenue 392,764 396,795 (4,031) (1.0)
         
Logistics revenue, net of intermodal fuel        
surcharge revenue 115,223 103,166 12,057 11.7
Intermodal fuel surcharge revenue 8,933 5,913 3,020 51.1
Total Logistics revenue 124,156 109,079 15,077 13.8
         
Total operating revenue $516,920 $505,874 $11,046 2.2%
         
Operating income:        
Truckload $28,680 $22,827 $5,853 25.6%
Logistics 6,609 6,532 77 1.2
Total operating income $35,289 $29,359 $5,930 20.2%
         
Operating ratio:        
Truckload 92.7% 94.2%   (1.6)%
Logistics 94.7 94.0   0.7
Consolidated operating ratio 93.2% 94.2%   (1.1)%
 
MARTEN TRANSPORT, LTD.

OPERATING STATISTICS

(Unaudited)
 
   Three Months  Year
   Ended December 31,  Ended December 31,
  2010 2009 2010 2009
         
Truckload Segment:        
Total Truckload revenue (in thousands) $101,227 $98,902 $392,764 $396,795
Average truckload revenue, net of fuel surcharges, per tractor per week(1) $3,010 $2,841 $2,968 $2,822
Average tractors(1) 2,096 2,254 2,105 2,358
Average miles per trip 630 706 655 761
Non-revenue miles percentage(2) 10.1% 9.2% 9.6% 9.2%
Total miles – company-employed drivers (in thousands) 48,754 50,407 193,342 206,894
Total miles – independent contractors (in thousands) 2,422 5,307 13,776 23,415
         
Logistics Segment:        
Total Logistics revenue (in thousands) $35,345 $29,818 $124,156 $109,079
Brokerage:        
Marten Transport        
Revenue (in thousands) $12,524 $9,897 $41,219 $35,014
Loads 6,042 5,364 21,896 18,932
MWL        
Revenue (in thousands) $9,926 $8,797 $35,247 $32,160
Loads 4,355 4,274 18,704 17,868
Intermodal:        
Revenue (in thousands) $12,895 $11,124 $47,690 $41,905
Loads 5,395 4,852 20,150 18,090
Average tractors 68 66 67 62
         
At December 31, 2010 and December 31, 2009:        
Total tractors(1) 2,146 2,264    
Average age of company tractors (in years) 2.5 2.4    
Total trailers 3,928 3,958    
Average age of company trailers (in years) 2.8 3.4    
Ratio of trailers to tractors(1) 1.8 1.7    
         
   Three Months  Year
   Ended December 31,  Ended December 31,
(In thousands) 2010 2009 2010 2009
         
Net cash provided by operating activities $18,609 $18,479 $64,522 $81,686
Net cash used for investing activities 9,872 21,055 81,181 77,164
         
Weighted average shares outstanding:        
Basic 21,945 21,885 21,927 21,870
Diluted 22,063 21,987 22,031 21,984
         
(1) Includes tractors driven by both company-employed drivers and independent contractors. Independent contractors provided 86 and 177 tractors as of December 31, 2010, and 2009, respectively.
(2) Represents the percentage of miles for which the company is not compensated.
CONTACT: Tim Kohl, President, and 
         Jim Hinnendael, Chief Financial Officer, of Marten Transport, Ltd.
         715-926-4216

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