Trucker Old Dominion offers more evidence the U.S. economy is slowing


‘Old Dominion’s revenue results for February reflect continued softness in the domestic economy.’

— Old Dominion Freight Line Inc. Chief Executive Greg Gantt.

Old Dominion Freight Line Inc. provided on Friday a midquarter update on certain operating metrics, which showed continued weakness in demand.

The trucking company
said revenue per day in February was down 2.9% from the same period a year ago, as a 12.4% drop in less-than-truckload (LTL) tons per day was partially offset by an increase in LTL revenue per hundredweight. LTL refers to the relatively smaller transported cargo.

That follows a 7.8% decline in tons per day in January, after a 12.3% decrease in December.

Chief Executive Greg Gantt said the February results showed that the U.S. economy continued to slow. (Read more about how many on Wall Street see transportation companies as economic barometers.)

In early February, Old Dominion had reported fourth-quarter profit that topped expectations but revenue that came up a bit shy. At that time, CEO Gantt said the results were produced amid many “challenges,” which were primarily related to the “unexpected slowdown in the domestic economy,” according to a transcript of the earnings conference call provided by AlphaSense.

Also read MarketWatch’s “Economic Report” column and the “U.S. Economic Calendar” for more data on the U.S. economy.

Meanwhile, Old Dominion’s stock, which slipped 0.4% in midday trading Friday, has rallied 16.6% over the past three months, while the Dow Jones Transportation Average
has gained 3.8% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average
has lost 3.4%.




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