Hurricane Relief Services Lift Landstar's 4th-Quarter Earnings

Article excerpt

Byline: MARK BASCH

Landstar System Inc. Thursday reported a big increase in fourth-quarter earnings, helped by revenue from the emergency hurricane relief services the Jacksonville-based trucking company provided for the federal government.

Landstar's earnings for the quarter were $43 million, or 72 cents per diluted share, up from $24.6 million, or 40 cents a share, the fourth quarter of 2004. Revenue rose 36 percent to $800.4 million.

"Landstar's performance in the 2005 fourth quarter was, again, truly remarkable," President and CEO Henry Gerkens said in a conference call with analysts.

The company's Landstar Express America subsidiary, which arranges to move cargo by land and air, has been providing disaster relief services since the summer under a contract with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. Landstar said its fourth-quarter revenue included $138 million from that contract and it raised earnings by 28 cents a share.

Landstar's fourth-quarter 2004 earnings included $35.9 million in revenue and 7 cents a share in earnings from the FAA contract.

Gerkens said the company's performance demonstrated the "flexibility and scalability of our business model," as the company was able to respond to emergencies and still provide regular service to customers.

For all of 2006, Landstar's earnings rose 67 percent to $120 million, or $1.98 a share. Disaster relief provided $31.6 million, or 52 cents a share, of those earnings. …

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