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Saia Reports Record Fourth Quarter Results

JOHNS CREEK, Ga., Feb. 08, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Saia, Inc. (Nasdaq: SAIA), a leading transportation provider offering multi-regional less-than-truckload (LTL), non-asset truckload, expedited and logistics services, today reported fourth quarter 2020 financial results. Diluted earnings per share in the quarter were $1.51 compared to $0.81 in the fourth quarter of 2019. Full year diluted earnings per share were $5.20 in 2020 compared to $4.30 in 2019.

Highlights from the fourth quarter and full year operating results were as follows:

Fourth Quarter 2020 Compared to Fourth Quarter 2019 Results

  • Revenue was $476.5 million, a 7.5% increase
  • Operating income was $50.6 million, a 84.6% increase
  • Operating ratio of 89.4 compared to 93.8
  • LTL shipments per workday increased 3.6%
  • LTL tonnage per workday increased 6.0%
  • LTL revenue per hundredweight increased 1.2%
  • LTL revenue per shipment rose 3.5% to $246.88

Full Year 2020 Results Compared to Full Year 2019 Results

  • Revenue was $1.8 billion, a 2.0% increase
  • Operating income was $180.3 million, an 18.2% increase
  • Operating ratio of 90.1 compared to 91.5
  • LTL shipments per workday decreased 0.9%
  • LTL tonnage per workday increased by 0.1%
  • LTL revenue per hundredweight increased 1.6%
  • LTL revenue per shipment rose 2.6% to $240.86

Fourth quarter effective tax rate of 19.8% was lower than the third quarter and full year tax rate, related to executive and director stock compensation.

“After the most unique year in our history, I am very pleased at the record results achieved by our team,” stated Saia President and Chief Executive Officer, Frederick Holzgrefe. “Business trends in December out-performed normal historical trends and we posted 3.5% shipment growth for the month. Shipments and tonnage increased by 3.6% and 6.0%, respectively, for the quarter,” Holzgrefe added. “Our full year operating ratio of 90.1% was a record for our company and the fact that it was achieved in such turbulent times is a testament to the commitment, focus and efficiency displayed by our employees throughout the year,” said Holzgrefe.

“Moving into 2021, we continue to focus our efforts on expansion of our network and of course on continuing profitability initiatives,” said Holzgrefe. “We have one planned terminal opening for the first quarter and are reviewing several other opportunities. We continue to see inflationary cost pressures in our business, including our January wage increase and we will work on mix and pricing to cover the cost pressures and strive to improve margins in our business. We are still operating in challenging conditions and the “Covid” operating protocol developed last year, continues. Despite that, we plan to invest in our business and will support our employees as they work and allow our company to provide essential services to our customers,” concluded Holzgrefe.

Saia Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Douglas Col stated, “We have long felt that positive pricing action was the best path towards improved profitability and 2020 provides excellent evidence of that path. Total annual revenue grew 2% with total shipments per workday down almost 1%. The growth came from a 3.9% increase in yield excluding fuel surcharge, which fueled a 4.9% increase in revenue per bill excluding fuel surcharge, and this largely explained the 140 basis point improvement in our operating ratio versus the prior year,” added Col.

Financial Position and Capital Expenditures

Total debt was $71.0 million at December 31, 2020 and inclusive of the cash on-hand, net debt to total capital was 4.5%. This compares to total debt of $136.4 million and net debt to total capital of 14.3% at December 31, 2019.

Net capital investments were $218.8 million in 2020. This compares to $287.2 million in net capital investments in 2019, which included equipment acquired with finance leases. Six new terminals were opened in 2020, with five of these replacing existing locations.

In 2021, we anticipate net capital expenditures will be approximately $275 million.

Conference Call

Management will hold a conference call to discuss quarterly results today at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time. To participate in the call, please dial 800-437-2398 or 323-289-6576 referencing conference ID #1022163. Callers should dial in five to ten minutes in advance of the conference call. This call will be webcast live via the company website at A replay of the call will be offered two hours after the completion of the call through March 8, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The replay will be available by dialing 888-203-1112.

Saia, Inc. (SAIA) offers customers a wide range of less-than-truckload, non-asset truckload, expedited and logistics services. With headquarters in Georgia, Saia LTL Freight operates 169 terminals across 44 states. For more information on Saia, Inc. visit the Investor Relations section at

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

The Securities and Exchange Commission encourages companies to disclose forward-looking information so that investors can better understand the future prospects of a company and make informed investment decisions. This news release may contain these types of statements, which are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

Words such as “anticipate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “project,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “predict,” “believe,” “should” and similar words or expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements and the Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements reflect the present expectation of future events of our management as of the date of this news release and are subject to a number of important factors, risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in any forward-looking statements. These factors, risks, uncertainties and assumptions include, but are not limited to, (1) general economic conditions including downturns in the business cycle; (2) effectiveness of Company-specific performance improvement initiatives, including management of the cost structure to match shifts in customer volume levels; (3) the creditworthiness of our customers and their ability to pay for services; (4) widespread outbreak of an illness or any other communicable disease, including the COVID-19 pandemic, or any other health crisis or business disruptions that may arise from the COVID-19 pandemic in the future; (5) failure to achieve acquisition synergies; (6) failure to operate and grow acquired businesses in a manner that supports the value allocated to these acquired businesses; (7) economic declines in the geographic regions or industries in which our customers operate; (8) competitive initiatives and pricing pressures, including in connection with fuel surcharge; (9) loss of significant customers; (10) the Company’s need for capital and uncertainty of the credit markets; (11) the possibility of defaults under the Company’s debt agreements (including violation of financial covenants); (12) possible issuance of equity which would dilute stock ownership; (13) integration risks; (14) the effect of litigation including class action lawsuits; (15) cost and availability of qualified drivers, fuel, purchased transportation, real property, revenue equipment, technology and other assets; (16) the effect of governmental regulations, including but not limited to Hours of Service, engine emissions, the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) initiative, the Food and Drug Administration, compliance with legislation requiring companies to evaluate their internal control over financial reporting, Homeland Security, environmental regulations, tax law changes and changes to international trade agreements and tariffs; (17) changes in interpretation of accounting principles; (18) dependence on key employees; (19) inclement weather; (20) labor relations, including the adverse impact should a portion of the Company’s workforce become unionized; (21) terrorism risks; (22) self-insurance claims and other expense volatility; (23) risks arising from international business operations and relationships; (24) recent increases in the severity of auto liability claims against trucking companies and sharply higher costs of settlements and verdicts; (25) cost and availability of insurance coverage including the possibility the Company may be required to pay additional premiums, may be required to assume additional liability under its auto policy or be unable to obtain coverage; (26) increased costs of healthcare and prescription drugs, including as a result of healthcare reform legislation; (27) social media risks; (28) disruption in or failure of the Company’s technology or equipment including services essential to operations of the Company and/or cyber security risk; (29) failure to successfully execute the strategy to expand the Company’s service geography into the Northeastern United States; and (30) other financial, operational and legal risks and uncertainties detailed from time to time in the Company’s SEC filings.

As a result of these and other factors, no assurance can be given as to our future results and achievements. Accordingly, a forward-looking statement is neither a prediction nor a guarantee of future events or circumstances and those future events or circumstances may not occur. You should not place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. We are under no obligation, and we expressly disclaim any obligation, to update or alter any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

CONTACT:Saia, Inc.
Investor Relations

Saia, Inc. and Subsidiaries
Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets
(Amounts in thousands)
  December 31, 2020 December 31, 2019
Cash and cash equivalents $25,308  $248 
Accounts receivable, net  216,899   196,119 
Prepaid expenses and other  29,489   36,012 
Total current assets  271,696   232,379 
Cost  1,901,244   1,739,222 
Less: accumulated depreciation  765,217   686,623 
Net property and equipment  1,136,027   1,052,599 
OTHER ASSETS  27,336   26,825 
Total assets $1,548,774  $1,415,693 
Accounts payable $89,381  $83,621 
Wages and employees' benefits  55,392   49,668 
Other current liabilities  90,184   69,532 
Current portion of long-term debt  20,588   19,405 
Current portion of operating lease liability  20,209   19,020 
Total current liabilities  275,754   241,246 
Long-term debt, less current portion  50,388   117,025 
Operating lease liability, less current portion  95,321   86,239 
Deferred income taxes  119,818   111,555 
Claims, insurance and other  46,205   44,402 
Total other liabilities  311,732   359,221 
Common stock  26   26 
Additional paid-in capital  267,666   260,871 
Deferred compensation trust  (2,944)  (3,871)
Retained earnings  696,540   558,200 
Total stockholders' equity  961,288   815,226 
Total liabilities and stockholders' equity $1,548,774  $1,415,693 

Saia, Inc. and Subsidiaries
Consolidated Statements of Operations
For the Quarters and Years Ended December 31, 2020 and 2019
(Amounts in thousands, except per share data)
  Fourth Quarter Years
   2020   2019   2020   2019 
OPERATING REVENUE $476,482  $443,065  $1,822,366  $1,786,735 
Salaries, wages and employees' benefits  248,246   239,708   963,260   947,911 
Purchased transportation  44,851   31,565   141,369   129,980 
Fuel, operating expenses and supplies  76,327   86,926   299,234   340,056 
Operating taxes and licenses  14,094   14,032   56,294   54,397 
Claims and insurance  9,109   12,537   49,761   43,073 
Depreciation and amortization  34,177   31,877   134,655   119,135 
Gain from property disposals, net  (970)  (1,010)  (2,528)  (403)
Total operating expenses  425,834   415,635   1,642,045   1,634,149 
OPERATING INCOME  50,648   27,430   180,321   152,586 
Interest expense  1,007   1,534   5,177   6,688 
Other, net  (539)  (260)  (1,134)  (754)
Nonoperating expenses, net  468   1,274   4,043   5,934 
INCOME BEFORE INCOME TAXES  50,180   26,156   176,278   146,652 
Income tax expense  9,944   4,737   37,938   32,933 
NET INCOME $40,236  $21,419  $138,340  $113,719 
Average common shares outstanding - basic  26,203   26,000   26,140   25,952 
Average common shares outstanding - diluted  26,653   26,498   26,592   26,435 
Basic earnings per share $1.54  $0.82  $5.29  $4.38 
Diluted earnings per share $1.51  $0.81  $5.20  $4.30 

Saia, Inc. and Subsidiaries
Condensed Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
For the twelve months ended December 31, 2020 and 2019
(Amounts in thousands)
   2020   2019 
Net cash provided by operating activities $309,145  $272,876 
Net cash provided by operating activities  309,145   272,876 
Acquisition of property and equipment  (231,142)  (287,655)
Proceeds from disposal of property and equipment  12,325   6,624 
Net cash used in investing activities  (218,817)  (281,031)
Borrowing (repayment) of revolving credit agreement, net  (45,929)  25,929 
Proceeds from stock option exercises  3,786   2,927 
Shares withheld for taxes  (3,600)  (3,471)
Other financing activity  (19,525)  (19,176)
Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities  (65,268)  6,209 
Equipment financed with finance leases $  $6,169 

Saia, Inc. and Subsidiaries
Financial Information
For the Quarters Ended December 31, 2020 and 2019
        Fourth Quarter  
  Fourth Quarter % Amount/Workday %
   2020  2019 Change 2020 2019 Change
Workdays      62 62  
Operating ratio 89.4%  93.8%        
LTL tonnage (1) 1,233  1,164 5.9 19.89 18.77 6.0
LTL shipments (1) 1,859  1,794 3.6 29.98 28.94 3.6
LTL revenue/cwt.$18.60 $18.38 1.2      
LTL revenue/shipment$246.88 $238.45 3.5      
LTL pounds/shipment 1,327  1,297 2.3      
LTL length of haul (2) 898  846 6.1      
(1)In thousands.           
(2)In miles.           
Note:LTL operating statistics exclude transportation and logistics services where pricing is generally not determined by weight. The LTL operating statistics also exclude the adjustment required for financial statement purposes in accordance with the Company's revenue recognition policy.

Saia, Inc. and Subsidiaries
Financial Information
For the Years Ended December 31, 2020 and 2019
        Year Over Year  
  Year Over Year % Amount/Workday %
   2020  2019 Change 2020 2019 Change
Workdays      254 253  
Operating ratio 90.1%  91.5%        
LTL tonnage (1) 4,842  4,820 0.5  19.06 19.05 0.1 
LTL shipments (1) 7,371  7,409 (0.5) 29.02 29.28 (0.9)
LTL revenue/cwt.$18.33 $18.05 1.6       
LTL revenue/shipment$240.86 $234.81 2.6       
LTL pounds/shipment 1,314  1,301 1.0       
LTL length of haul (2) 879  840 4.6       
(1)In thousands.           
(2)In miles.           


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