updated 2/15/2011 11:47:22 AM ET 2011-02-15T16:47:22

DALLAS, Feb. 15, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Frozen Food Express Industries, Inc. (Nasdaq:FFEX) today announced its financial and operating results for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2010. Highlights for the year include:

  • Operating losses for the 4th Quarter of 2010, are $1.9 million, an improvement versus the 4th Quarter of 2009 of $3.1 million; a 62.1% improvement.
  • Operating losses for the year improved by $7.2 million versus 2009; a 29.1% improvement.
  • Total operating revenue for the 4th Quarter increased 3.0% to $94.2 million from $91.4 million in the 4th Quarter of 2009.
  • Total operating revenue for 2010 was $368.8 million compared to $373.1 million in 2009.
  • Operating expenses decreased 2.9% or $11.5 million to $386.5 million compared to $398.0 million in 2009.
  • Net loss improved 27.3% or $4.5 million to $11.9 million versus $16.4 million in 2009.
  • Continued focus on cost control resulted in an operating ratio improvement of 1.9% to 104.8% compared to 106.7% in 2009.
  • Net loss per share of diluted common stock improved 28.1% to ($0.69) versus ($0.96) in 2009.

For the year ended December 31, 2010, total operating revenue decreased 1.1% or $4.2 million. Total operating revenue, net of fuel surcharges, decreased 5.1% or $16.8 million, to $311.4 million from $328.2 million in 2009 due largely to an 8.0% reduction in average trucks in service. The net loss for the year improved 27.3% to $11.9 million or ($.69) per diluted share compared to $16.4 million or ($.96) per diluted share in 2009.

For the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2010, total operating revenue increased $2.7 million to $94.2 million compared to $91.4 million in the same period of last year. Total operating revenue excluding fuel surcharges was comparable to last year at $78.6 million. The net loss for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2010 improved 41.6% or $1.1 million to $1.5 million or ($0.09) per diluted share compared to $2.6 million or ($0.15) per diluted share last year.

Stoney M. ("Mit") Stubbs, the Company's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer commented, "Despite continued economic challenges, our truckload services continued to support stronger rates and deliver improved utility. We are pleased that our truckload revenue per total mile has held steady since rate increases taken at the end of the first quarter of this year. LTL services continue to benefit from increased focus on improved service dynamics. We've grown LTL tonnage by 5.0% this year compared to last, however we've seen that this part of the market continues to be very competitive in rates. We believe our improved service offering and nationwide footprint will allow us to command stronger rates in the future."

Asset productivity (measured by revenue per truck per week) improved 2.9% to $3,221.00 for 2010 compared to $3,129.00 in 2009. Russell Stubbs, the Company's President commented that, "A key challenge in this market is to increase seated drivers to provide us the benefit of incremental revenue.  We ended 2010 with an average weekly trucks in service number of 1,782 trucks, which was 155 trucks less than our 2009 average. We will grow our truckload revenue in 2011 by correcting this shortage. We have recently opened the FFE Driving Academy to allow us to train and develop new truck driving professionals and have also invested in our existing driver development infrastructure to support increased driver recruitment efforts. This combined with a new, more robust contractor lease program will give us the additional capacity needed in this market to grow our revenue in 2011.  We expect these enhancements will significantly improve our ability to add qualified drivers to our existing fleet and take advantage of opportunities in the truckload marketplace."

Mit Stubbs concluded, "We believe that despite the challenges from continued weakness in the economy, our employees have maintained their resolve to improve key elements of our business model such as improved service metrics, higher truck utility and tonnage growth from our LTL services, each of which will allow us to continue to improve our operating performance." 

About FFEX

Frozen Food Express Industries, Inc. is one of the leading temperature-controlled truckload and less-than-truckload carriers in the United States with core operations in the transport of temperature-controlled products and perishable goods including food, health care and confectionery products. Service is offered in over-the-road and intermodal modes for temperature-controlled truckload and less-than-truckload, as well as dry truckload. We also provide brokerage/logistics and dedicated services to our customers. Additional information about Frozen Food Express Industries, Inc. can be found at http://www.ffeinc.com . To join our email alert list, please click on the following link: http://financials.ffex.net/alerts.cfm . The Company's common stock is traded on the Nasdaq Global Select market under the symbol FFEX.

The Frozen Food Express Industries, Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=3209

Forward-Looking Statements

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. Forward-looking statements include statements relating to plans, strategies, objectives, expectations, intentions, and adequacy of resources, and may be identified by words such as "will", "could", "should", "believe", "expect", "intend", "plan", "schedule", "estimate", "project", and similar expressions. Those statements are based on current expectations and are subject to uncertainty and change. Although our management believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, there can be no assurance that such expectations will be realized. Should one or more of the risks or uncertainties underlying such expectations not materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those expected.

Among the key factors that are not within our management's control and that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in such forward-looking statements are demand for the company's services and products, and its ability to meet that demand, which may be affected by, among other things, competition, weather conditions and the general economy, the availability and cost of labor and owner-operators, the ability to negotiate favorably with lenders and lessors, the effects of terrorism and war, the availability and cost of equipment, fuel and supplies, the market for previously-owned equipment, the impact of changes in the tax and regulatory environment in which the company operates, operational risks and insurance, risks associated with the technologies and systems used and the other risks and uncertainties described in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Given the volatility in fuel prices and the impact fuel surcharge revenues have on total operating revenues, we often make reference to total operating revenue excluding fuel surcharges to provide a more consistent basis for comparison of operating revenue without the impact of fluctuating fuel prices. Readers should review and consider these factors along with the various disclosures by the Company in its press releases, stockholder reports and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company does not assume, and specifically disclaims, any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect actual results or changes in the factors affecting the forward-looking information.

FROZEN FOOD EXPRESS INDUSTRIES, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Consolidated Statements of Operations
For the Three and Twelve Months Ended December 31,
         
  (in thousands, except per-share amounts)
    Three Months  Twelve Months
  2010 2009 2010 2009
Total operating revenue $ 94,153 $ 91,449 $ 368,822 $ 373,051
Operating expenses        
Salaries, wages and related expenses 29,846 28,026 117,134 122,141
Purchased transportation 16,325 19,611 72,297 81,363
Fuel 19,784 16,404 71,566 62,655
Supplies and maintenance 11,876 11,473 47,886 47,347
Revenue equipment rent 8,731 9,335 35,847 38,721
Depreciation 4,208 4,254 16,322 17,550
Communications and utilities 1,317 1,247 4,975 5,145
Claims and insurance 2,253 4,371 13,017 15,305
Operating taxes and licenses 953 992 4,162 4,648
Gain on sale of property and equipment (511) (61) (1,103) (136)
Miscellaneous 1,288 858 4,389 3,225
 Total operating expenses 96,070 96,510 386,492 397,964
Loss from operations (1,917) (5,061) (17,670) (24,913)
         
Interest and other (income) expense        
Interest income (2) (1) (32) (6)
Interest expense 162 21 470 30
Equity in earnings of limited partnership (373) (267) (816) (739)
Life insurance and other 125 106 209 697
   Total interest and other income (88) (141) (169) (18)
Net loss before income tax  (1,829) (4,920) (17,501) (24,895)
Income tax benefit (330) (2,354) (5,571) (8,480)
Net loss  $ (1,499) $ (2,566) $ (11,930) $ (16,415)
         
Net loss per share of common stock        
Basic $ (0.09) $ (0.15) $ (0.69) $ (0.96)
Diluted $ (0.09) $ (0.15) $ (0.69) $ (0.96)
Weighted average shares outstanding        
Basic 17,429 17,149 17,275 17,080
Diluted 17,429 17,149 17,275 17,080
Dividends declared per common share $ -- $ -- $ -- $ 0.03
 
FROZEN FOOD EXPRESS INDUSTRIES, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Operating Statistics
For the Three and Twelve Months Ended December 31,
 
  Three Months Twelve Months
Revenue from 2010 2009 2010 2009
Temperature-controlled fleet $ 31,176 $ 32,797 $ 117,111 $ 136,427
Dry-freight fleet 12,084 10,002 54,281 50,807
Total truckload linehaul services 43,260 42,799 171,392 187,234
Dedicated fleets 4,482 4,737 17,467 19,707
Total truckload 47,742 47,536 188,859 206,941
Less-than-truckload linehaul services 28,055 27,949 110,467 109,054
Fuel surcharges 15,524 12,811 57,410 44,876
Brokerage 1,410 1,851 6,798 7,266
Equipment rental  1,422 1,302 5,288 4,914
Total operating revenue  94,153 91,449 368,822 373,051
         
Operating expenses 96,070 96,510 386,492 397,964
Loss from freight operations $ (1,917) $ (5,061) $ (17,670) $ (24,913)
Operating ratio 102.0% 105.5% 104.8% 106.7%
         
Total truckload revenue $ 47,742 $ 47,536 $ 188,859 $ 206,941
Less-than-truckload linehaul revenue 28,055 27,949 110,467 109,054
Total linehaul and dedicated fleet revenue  $ 75,797 $ 75,485 $ 299,326 $ 315,995
         
Weekly average trucks in service 1,790 1,824 1,782 1,937
Revenue per truck per week $ 3,222 $ 3,149 $ 3,221 $ 3,129
         
Statistical and revenue data :         
Truckload        
Total linehaul miles (a) 31,247 33,785 126,090 149,412
Loaded miles (a) 27,732 29,916 111,537 133,956
Empty mile ratio (b) 11.2% 11.5% 11.5% 10.3%
Linehaul revenue per total mile (c) $ 1.38 $ 1.27 $ 1.36 $ 1.25
Linehaul revenue per loaded mile (d) $ 1.56 $ 1.43 $ 1.54 $ 1.40
Linehaul shipments (a) 30.8 36.8 124.3 154.3
Loaded miles per shipment (e) 900 812 897 868
Less-than-truckload        
Hundredweight (a) 2,010 1,988 8,001 7,619
Shipments (a) 64.9 62.9 257 247
Linehaul revenue per hundredweight (f) $ 13.96 $ 14.06 $ 13.81 $ 14.31
Linehaul revenue per shipment (g) 432 445 431 442
Average weight per shipment (h) 3,096 3,163 3,119 3,086
         
Tractors in service as of December 31     1,803 1,943
Trailers in service as of December 31     3,503 3,786
Non-driver employees as of December 31     714 682
         
Computational notes:        
(a) In thousands.
(b) Total truckload linehaul miles less truckload loaded miles divided by total truckload linehaul miles.
(c) Revenue from truckload linehaul services divided by truckload total linehaul miles.
(d) Revenue from truckload linehaul services divided by truckload loaded miles.
(e) Total truckload loaded miles divided by number of truckload linehaul shipments.
(f) LTL revenue divided by LTL hundredweight.
(g) LTL revenue divided by number of LTL shipments.
(h) LTL hundredweight times one hundred divided by number of LTL shipments. 
 
Frozen Food Express Industries, Inc. and Subsidiaries 
Consolidated Balance Sheets
December 31,
(in thousands)
 
Assets 2010 2009
Current assets    
Cash and cash equivalents $ 1,203 $ 3,667
Accounts receivable, net 41,921 41,318
Tires on equipment in use, net 5,982 5,592
Deferred income taxes 1,150 1,532
Property held for sale -- 1,019
Other current assets 6,575 12,706
Total current assets 56,831 65,834
     
Property and equipment, net 72,993 74,845
Other assets 5,081 5,121
 Total assets $ 134,905 $ 145,800
     
Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity    
Current liabilities    
Accounts payable $ 27,443 $ 23,773
Insurance and claims accruals 8,697 10,119
Accrued payroll and deferred compensation 5,032 3,837
Accrued liabilities 709 1,953
 Total current liabilities 41,881 39,682
     
Long-term debt 5,689 --
Deferred income taxes 3,153 9,009
Insurance and claims accruals 5,373 7,374
 Total liabilities 56,096 56,065
     
Shareholders' equity    
Common stock, $1.50 par value per share; 75,000 shares authorized;18,572 shares issued  27,858 27,858
Additional paid-in capital 1,353 2,923
Retained earnings 58,242 70,172
  87,453 100,953
Treasury stock (1,146 and 1,477 shares), at cost (8,644) (11,218)
 Total shareholders' equity 78,809 89,735
 Total liabilities and shareholders' equity $ 134,905 $ 145,800
CONTACT: Frozen Food Express Industries, Inc.
         Stoney M. "Mit" Stubbs, Jr., Chairman and CEO
         Russell Stubbs, President
         John Hickerson, EVP and COO
         John McManama, Senior VP and CFO
         (214) 630-8090
         ir@ffex.net

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