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Saia Reports First Quarter Results

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. , April 29, 2020 (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 first quarter 2020 financial results.  Diluted earnings per share in the quarter were $1.06 compared to $0.85 in the first quarter of 2019.

Highlights from the first quarter operating results were as follows:

First Quarter 2020 Compared to First Quarter 2019 Results

  • Revenue was $446.4 million, an 8.7% increase
  • Operating income was $38.8 million, a 35.4% increase
  • Operating ratio of 91.3 compared to 93.0
  • LTL shipments per workday rose 2.3%
  • LTL tonnage per workday increased by 4.0%
  • LTL revenue per hundredweight increased 3.1%
  • LTL revenue per shipment rose 4.9% to $241.61

“First quarter results were marked by shipment volatility over the first couple of months and then after a strong start in March, we experienced a quick and meaningful downturn in business volumes across our network, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  We were able to quickly make some cost adjustments, enabling us to produce improved financial results. We achieved a record low first quarter operating ratio which we believe validates our ability to execute on the growth strategy initiated several years ago”, said Saia President and Chief Executive Officer, Fritz Holzgrefe.

“Our operating ratio improved 170 basis points year-over-year as we saw improved productivity across our operations and as a result of our continued focus on pricing and mix management.  Our shipments were up 2.3% from the prior year and combined with a 3.4% increase in yield, we increased our revenue per shipment by over 5%.  The first quarter marked our 39th consecutive quarter of year over year yield improvement”, Holzgrefe continued. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented disruption to our business and to that of our customers.  I am proud of the way our entire team has responded and that we have been able to do our part to provide essential goods all across the country. Our priority as a company is 100% focused on the health and safety of our employees, customers, vendors and all those in the communities we serve, while still honoring our commitment to deliver freight and meet our customers needs,”  concluded Holzgrefe. 

Saia Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Douglas Col stated, “We have executed our growth strategy over the last several years while maintaining considerable financial flexibility and a strong balance sheet and liquidity position.  We currently have $47 million in cash on hand and access to more than $300 million through our revolving credit facility (including a $100 million accordion facility, subject to certain conditions and lender commitments) and other sources of borrowing in place.  We have prioritized our 2020 investment plan to match our current outlook. We plan to selectively forego some previously planned investments until such time that business conditions improve while remaining open to opportunistic investments should they become available”.

Financial Position and Capital Expenditures

Total debt was $235.8 million at March 31, 2020 and inclusive of the cash on-hand, net debt to total capital was 18.3%.  This compares to total debt of $148.9 million and net debt to total capital of 17.2% at March 31, 2019.

Net capital expenditures in the first quarter of 2020 were $102.7 million.  This compares to $56.5 million in net capital expenditures during the first quarter of 2019.  In 2020, we anticipate net capital expenditures will be less than the $250 million previously planned.

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 800-367-2403 or 334-777-6978 referencing conference ID #5366709.  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 May 27, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time.  The replay will be available by dialing 888-203-1112.

Saia, Inc. (Nasdaq: SAIA) offers customers a wide range of less-than-truckload, non-asset truckload, expedited and logistics services.  With headquarters in Johns Creek, GA, 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 potential changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement and to certain international 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)
  March 31, 2020 December 31, 2019
Cash and cash equivalents $46,909  $248 
Accounts receivable, net  210,894   196,119 
Prepaid expenses and other  48,105   36,012 
Total current assets  305,908   232,379 
Cost  1,834,768   1,739,222 
Less: accumulated depreciation  712,882   686,623 
Net property and equipment  1,121,886   1,052,599 
 OTHER ASSETS  26,813   26,825 
Total assets $1,577,259  $1,415,693 
Accounts payable $91,395  $83,621 
Wages and employees' benefits  46,678   49,668 
Other current liabilities  72,720   69,532 
Current portion of long-term debt  19,565   19,405 
Current portion of operating lease liability  18,689   19,020 
Total current liabilities  249,047   241,246 
Long-term debt, less current portion  216,202   117,025 
Operating lease liability, less current portion  105,282   86,239 
Deferred income taxes  118,624   111,555 
Claims, insurance and other  44,717   44,402 
Total other liabilities  484,825   359,221 
Common stock  26   26 
Additional paid-in capital  262,008   260,871 
Deferred compensation trust  (4,958)  (3,871)
Retained earnings  586,311   558,200 
Total stockholders' equity  843,387   815,226 
Total liabilities and stockholders' equity $1,577,259  $1,415,693 

Saia, Inc. and Subsidiaries
Consolidated Statements of Operations
For the Quarters Ended March 31, 2020 and 2019
(Amounts in thousands, except per share data)
  First Quarter
   2020   2019 
OPERATING REVENUE $446,396  $410,584 
Salaries, wages and employees' benefits  238,645   220,352 
Purchased transportation  30,059   28,418 
Fuel, operating expenses and supplies  82,899   83,543 
Operating taxes and licenses  14,396   13,202 
Claims and insurance  10,421   9,530 
Depreciation and amortization  32,590   26,782 
Loss (gain) from property disposals, net  (1,390)  126 
Total operating expenses  407,620   381,953 
OPERATING INCOME  38,776   28,631 
Interest expense  1,402   1,383 
Other, net  547   (334)
Nonoperating expenses, net  1,949   1,049 
Income tax expense  8,716   5,323 
NET INCOME $28,111  $22,259 
Average common shares outstanding - basic  26,070   25,873 
Average common shares outstanding - diluted  26,492   26,322 
Basic earnings per share $1.08  $0.86 
Diluted earnings per share $1.06  $0.85 

Saia, Inc. and Subsidiaries
Condensed Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
For the three months ended March 31, 2020 and 2019
(Amounts in thousands)
  First Quarter
   2020   2019 
Net cash provided by operating activities $51,267  $30,400 
Net cash provided by operating activities  51,267   30,400 
Acquisition of property and equipment  (107,591)  (56,741)
Proceeds from disposal of property and equipment  4,915   275 
Net cash used in investing activities  (102,676)  (56,466)
Borrowing of revolving credit agreement, net  104,140   30,608 
Proceeds from stock option exercises  2,137   1,798 
Shares withheld for taxes  (3,404)  (3,268)
Other financing activity  (4,803)  (5,235)
Net cash provided by financing activities  98,070   23,903 

Saia, Inc. and Subsidiaries
Financial Information
For the Quarters Ended March 31, 2020 and 2019
        First Quarter  
  First Quarter  % Amount/Workday  %
   2020   2019  Change 2020 2019 Change
Workdays      64 63  
Operating ratio 91.3%  93.0%        
LTL tonnage (1) 1,203   1,139  5.7 18.80 18.07 4.0
LTL shipments (1) 1,809   1,741  3.9 28.26 27.63 2.3
LTL revenue/cwt.$18.16  $17.61  3.1      
LTL revenue/shipment$241.61  $230.43  4.9      
LTL pounds/shipment 1,331   1,308  1.7      
LTL length of haul (2) 848   831  2.0      
(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.

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