10-K 1 ptsi20171231_10k.htm FORM 10-K ptsi20171231_10k.htm
 

Table of Contents

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

Annual Report Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

 

For the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2017

or

Transition Report Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

 

For the transition period from ________to________

 

Commission File No. 0-15057

 

 

P.A.M. TRANSPORTATION SERVICES, INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

Delaware

 

71-0633135

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

 

297 West Henri De Tonti Blvd, Tontitown, Arkansas 72770

(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip Code)

 

 (479) 361-9111

Registrant's telephone number, including area code

 

Securities registered pursuant to section 12(b) of the Act:

 

Title of each class

 

Name of each exchange on which registered

Common Stock, $.01 par value

 

NASDAQ Global Market

 

Securities registered pursuant to section 12(g) of the Act: None

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.

Yes ☐         No ☑ 

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.

Yes ☐         No ☑ 

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.

Yes ☑        No ☐ 

 

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate website, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).

Yes ☑        No ☐ 

 

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of the registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.  ☐

 

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

Large accelerated filer

 

Accelerated filer

Non-accelerated filer

 

(Do not check if a smaller reporting company)

 

 

 

Smaller reporting company

 

 

 

Emerging growth company

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.  ☐

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).        

Yes ☐         No ☑ 

 

The aggregate market value of the common stock of the registrant held by non-affiliates of the registrant computed by reference to the average of the closing bid and ask prices of the common stock as of the last business day of the registrant's most recently completed second quarter was $44,740,455. Solely for the purposes of this response, the registrant has assumed, without admitting for any purpose, that all executive officers and directors of the registrant, and no other persons, are the affiliates of the registrant at that date.

 

The number of shares outstanding of the registrant’s common stock, as of February 23, 2018: 6,175,889 shares of $.01 par value common stock.

 

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

 

Portions of the registrant’s definitive Proxy Statement for its Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be held on April 25, 2018, are incorporated by reference in answer to Part III of this report. Such proxy statement will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission of the registrant’s fiscal year ended December 31, 2017.

 

 

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

 

This Annual Report on Form 10-K (this “Report”) contains forward-looking statements, including statements about our operating and growth strategies, our expected financial position and operating results, industry trends, our capital expenditure and financing plans and similar matters. Such forward-looking statements are found throughout this Report, including under Item 1, Business, Item 1A, Risk Factors, Item 7, Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, and Item 7A, Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk. In those and other portions of this Report, the words “believe,” “may,” “will,” “estimate,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “expect,” “project”, “could”, “should”, “would” and similar expressions, as they relate to us, our management, and our industry are intended to identify forward-looking statements. We have based these forward-looking statements largely on our current expectations and projections about future events and financial trends affecting our business. Actual results may differ materially. Some of the risks, uncertainties and assumptions that may cause actual results to differ from these forward-looking statements are described under the headings “Risk Factors,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” and “Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk.”

 

All forward-looking statements attributable to us, or to persons acting on our behalf, are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement.

 

We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. In light of these risks and uncertainties, the forward-looking events and circumstances discussed in this Report might not transpire.

 

 

 

P.A.M. TRANSPORTATION SERVICES, INC.

FORM 10-K

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

 

PART I

Page

Item 1

Business

1

Item 1A

Risk Factors

7

Item 1B

Unresolved Staff Comments

15

Item 2

Properties

16

Item 3

Legal Proceedings

16

Item 4

Mine Safety Disclosures

16

     
 

PART II

 

Item 5

Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

17

Item 6

Selected Financial Data

20

Item 7

Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

21

Item 7A

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

33

Item 8

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

34

Item 9

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

65

Item 9A

Controls and Procedures

65

Item 9B

Other Information

67

     
 

PART III

 

Item 10

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

67

Item 11

Executive Compensation

67

Item 12

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

67

Item 13

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

68

Item 14

Principal Accounting Fees and Services

68

     
 

PART IV

 

Item 15

Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules

68

     
 

SIGNATURES

70

 

 

 

PART I

 

Item 1. Business.

 

Unless the context otherwise requires, all references in this Annual Report on Form 10-K to “P.A.M.,” the “Company,” “we,” “our,” or “us” mean P.A.M. Transportation Services, Inc. and its subsidiaries.

 

We are a truckload dry van carrier transporting general commodities throughout the continental United States, as well as in certain Canadian provinces. We also provide transportation services in Mexico under agreements with Mexican carriers. Our freight consists primarily of automotive parts, expedited goods, consumer goods, such as general retail store merchandise, and manufactured goods, such as heating and air conditioning units.

 

P.A.M. Transportation Services, Inc. is a holding company incorporated under the laws of the State of Delaware in June 1986. We conduct operations principally through the following wholly owned subsidiaries: P.A.M. Transport, Inc., T.T.X., LLC, P.A.M. Cartage Carriers, LLC, Overdrive Leasing, LLC, P.A.M. Logistics Services, Inc., Choctaw Express, LLC, Choctaw Brokerage, Inc., Transcend Logistics, Inc., Decker Transport Co., LLC, East Coast Transport and Logistics, LLC, S & L Logistics, Inc., and P.A.M. International, Inc. Our operating authorities are held by P.A.M. Transport, Inc., P.A.M. Cartage Carriers, LLC, Choctaw Express, LLC, Choctaw Brokerage, Inc., T.T.X., LLC, Decker Transport Co., LLC, and East Coast Transport and Logistics, LLC. Effective on January 1, 2010, the operations of most of the Company’s operating subsidiaries were consolidated under the P.A.M. Transport, Inc. name in an effort to more clearly reflect the Company’s scope and available service offerings.

 

We are headquartered and maintain our primary terminal, maintenance facilities, and our corporate and administrative offices in Tontitown, Arkansas, which is located in northwest Arkansas, a major center for the trucking industry and where the support services (including warranty repair services) for most major truck and trailer equipment manufacturers are readily available.

 

Segment Financial Information

 

The Company's operations are all in the motor carrier segment and are aggregated into a single reporting segment in accordance with the aggregation criteria under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“GAAP”).

 

Operations

 

Our operations can generally be classified into truckload services or brokerage and logistics services. Truckload services include those transportation services in which we utilize company owned trucks or independent contractor owned trucks for the pickup and delivery of freight. The brokerage and logistics services consists of services such as transportation scheduling, routing, mode selection, transloading and other value added services related to the transportation of freight which may or may not involve the use of company-owned or independent contractor-owned equipment. Both our truckload operations and our brokerage and logistics operations have similar economic characteristics and are impacted by virtually the same economic factors as discussed elsewhere in this Report. Truckload services operating revenues, before fuel surcharges, represented 86.3%, 88.4% and 87.6% of total operating revenues for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively. The remaining operating revenues, before fuel surcharge for the same periods were generated by brokerage and logistics services, representing 13.7%, 11.6%, and 12.4%, respectively.

 

Approximately 59% of the Company's revenues are derived from domestic shipments while approximately 41% of our revenues are derived from freight originating from or destined to locations in Mexico or Canada.

 

 

Business and Growth Strategy

 

Our strategy focuses on the following elements:

 

Providing a Full Suite of Complimentary Truckload Transportation Solutions. Our objective is to provide our customers with a comprehensive solution to their truckload transportation needs. Our asset-based service offerings consist of dedicated, expedited, regional, automotive, and long-haul truckload services with non-asset based supply chain management, logistics and brokerage solutions rounding out our service offerings. Our range of service offerings also include our complete range of asset-based and non-asset based services to Mexico and Canada.

 

Developing Customer Relationships within High Density Traffic Lanes. We strive to maximize utilization and increase revenue per truck while minimizing our time and empty miles between loads. In this regard, we seek to provide equipment to our customers in defined regions and disciplined traffic lanes. This strategy enables us to:

 

 

maintain more consistent equipment capacity;

 

 

provide a high level of service to our customers, including time-sensitive delivery schedules;

 

 

attract and retain drivers; and

 

 

maintain a sound safety record as drivers travel familiar routes.

 

Providing Superior and Flexible Customer Service. Our wide range of services includes expedited services, dedicated fleet services, logistics services, time-definite delivery, two-person driving teams, cross-docking and consolidation programs, specialized trailers, international services to Mexico and Canada, and Internet-based customer access to delivery status. These services allow us to quickly and reliably respond to the diverse needs of our customers, and provide an advantage in securing new business.

 

Many of our customers depend on us to deliver shipments on a time-definite basis, meaning that parts or raw materials are scheduled for delivery as they are needed on a manufacturer’s production line. The need for this service is a product of modern manufacturing and assembly methods that are designed to decrease inventory levels and handling costs. Such requirements place a premium on our delivery performance and reliability.

 

Employing Stringent Cost Controls. Throughout our organization, emphasis is placed on gaining efficiency in our processes with the primary goals of decreasing costs and improving customer satisfaction. Maintaining a high level of efficiency and prioritizing our focus on improvements allows us to minimize the number of non-driving personnel we employ and positively influence other overhead costs. Expenses are intensely scrutinized for opportunities for elimination, reduction or to further leverage our purchasing power to achieve more favorable pricing.

 

 

Industry

 

According to the American Trucking Association’s “American Trucking Trends 2017” report, the trucking industry transported approximately 70% of the total volume of freight transported in the United States during 2016, which equates to 10.4 billion tons and over $650 billion in revenue. The truckload industry is highly fragmented and is impacted by several economic and business factors, many of which are beyond the control of individual carriers. The state of the economy, coupled with equipment capacity levels, can impact freight rates. Volatility of various operating expenses, such as fuel and insurance, make the predictability of profit levels uncertain. Availability, attraction, retention and compensation of drivers also affect operating costs, as well as equipment utilization. In addition, the capital requirements for equipment, coupled with potential uncertainty of used equipment values, impact the ability of many carriers to expand their operations. The current operating environment is characterized by the following:

 

Competition for freight;

 

Price increases by truck and trailer equipment manufacturers;

 

Volatile fuel costs; and

 

Pressure on less profitable or undercapitalized carriers to consolidate or exit the industry.

 

Competition

 

The trucking industry is highly competitive and includes thousands of carriers, none of which dominates the market in which the Company operates. The Company's market share is less than 1%, and we compete primarily with other irregular route medium- to long-haul truckload carriers, with private carriage conducted by our existing and potential customers, and, to a lesser extent, with the railroads. We compete on the basis of quality of service and delivery performance, as well as price. Many of the other irregular route long-haul truckload carriers have substantially greater financial resources, own more equipment or carry a larger total volume of freight as compared to the Company.

 

Marketing and Significant Customers

 

Our marketing emphasis is directed to that portion of the truckload market which is generally service-sensitive, as opposed to being solely price driven. We seek to become a “core carrier” for our customers in order to maintain high utilization and capitalize on recurring revenue opportunities. Our marketing efforts are diversified and designed to gain access to dedicated, expedited, regional, automotive, and long-haul opportunities (including those in Mexico and Canada) and to expand supply chain solutions offerings.

 

Our sales efforts are conducted by a staff of nine employees who are located in our major markets and supervised from our headquarters. These individuals work to improve profitability by maintaining an even flow of freight traffic (taking into account the balance between originations and destinations in a given geographical area), high utilization, and minimizing movement of empty equipment.

 

Our five largest customers, for which we provide carrier services covering a number of geographic locations, accounted for approximately 41%, 43% and 44% of our total revenues in 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively. General Motors Company accounted for approximately 18%, 18% and 15% of our revenues in 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles accounted for approximately 10%, 9% and 11% of our revenues in 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively. Ford Motor Company accounted for approximately 9%, 10% and 11% of our revenues in 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively.

 

We also provide transportation services to other manufacturers who are suppliers for automobile manufacturers. Approximately 46%, 45% and 47% of our revenues were derived from transportation services provided to the automobile industry during 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively.

 

 

Revenue Equipment

 

At December 31, 2017, our truck fleet consisted of 1,721 trucks, which included 18 trucks leased under operating leases and 560 independent contractor trucks. At December 31, 2017, our trailer fleet consisted of 5,795 trailers. Our company-owned trucks and leased trucks are late model, well-maintained, premium trucks, which we believe help to attract and retain drivers, maximize fuel efficiency, promote safe operations, minimize maintenance and repair costs, and improve customer service by minimizing service interruptions caused by breakdowns. The average age of our trucks and trailers as of December 31, 2017 was 1.49 years and 3.38 years respectively. We evaluate our equipment purchasing decisions based on factors such as initial cost, useful life, warranty terms, expected maintenance costs, fuel economy, driver comfort, customer needs, manufacturer support, and resale value.

 

We contract with independent contractors to provide greater flexibility in responding to fluctuations in consumer demand. Independent contractors provide their own trucks and are contractually responsible for all associated expenses, including financing costs, fuel, maintenance, insurance, and taxes, among other things. They are also responsible for maintaining compliance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations.

 

Technology

 

We have installed Qualcomm display units in all of our trucks. The Qualcomm system is a satellite-based global positioning and communications system that allows fleet managers to communicate directly with drivers. Drivers can provide location, status, and updates directly to our computer system which increases productivity and convenience. This system provides us with accurate estimated time of arrival information, which optimizes load selection and service levels to our customers.

 

Our information systems manage the data provided by the Qualcomm devices to provide us with real-time information regarding the location, status, and load assignment of our trucks, which permits us to better meet delivery schedules, respond to customer inquiries, and match equipment with the next available load. Our system also provides real-time information electronically to our customers regarding the status of freight shipments and anticipated arrival times. This system provides our customers flexibility and convenience by extending supply chain visibility through electronic data interchange, the Internet and e-mail.

 

Maintenance

 

We have a strictly-enforced, comprehensive preventive maintenance program for our trucks and trailers. Inspections and various levels of preventive maintenance are performed at set intervals on both trucks and trailers. A maintenance and safety inspection is performed on all vehicles each time they return to a terminal.

 

Our trucks carry full warranty coverage for at least three years or 375,000 miles. Extended truck warranties can be negotiated with the truck manufacturer and manufacturers of major components, such as engine, transmission, and differential manufacturers, for up to five years or 575,000 miles. Our trailers carry full warranties by the manufacturer for up to five years with certain components covered for up to ten years.

 

Employees

 

At December 31, 2017, we employed 2,409 persons, of whom 1,770 were drivers, 172 were employed in maintenance, 249 were employed in operations, 40 were employed in marketing, 110 were employed in safety and personnel, and 68 were employed in general administration and accounting. A total of 2,391 of our employees were employed on a full-time basis as of December 31, 2017. None of our employees are represented by a collective bargaining unit, and we believe that our employee relations are good.

 

 

Drivers

 

At December 31, 2017, we utilized 1,770 company drivers in our operations. We also had 629 drivers for independent contractors under contract who were compensated on a per mile basis. Our drivers are compensated on the basis of miles driven, loading and unloading, extra stops, and layovers in transit. Drivers can earn bonuses by recruiting other qualified drivers who become employed by us, and both cash and non-cash prizes are awarded for achieving certain safety and miles-per-gallon goals. All of our drivers are recruited, screened, and drug tested and participate in our driver training program. Our driver training program stresses the importance of safety and reliable, on-time delivery. Drivers are required to report to their driver managers daily and at the earliest possible moment when any condition occurs en route that might delay their scheduled delivery time.

 

We contract with independent contractors to supply one or more trucks and drivers for our use. Independent contractors must pay their own truck expenses, fuel, maintenance, insurance, and driver costs. They must meet and operate within our guidelines with respect to safety. We have a lease-purchase program whereby we offer independent contractors the opportunity to lease a truck, with the option to purchase the truck at the end of the lease term. We believe our lease-purchase program has contributed to our ability to attract and retain independent contractors. At December 31, 2017, approximately 290 independent contractors were leasing 355 trucks in this program.

 

In addition to strict application screening and drug testing, before being permitted to operate a vehicle, our drivers must undergo classroom instruction on our policies and procedures, safety techniques as taught by the Smith System of Defensive Driving, and the proper operation of equipment, and must pass both written and road tests. Instruction in defensive driving and safety techniques continues after hiring, with seminars at several of our terminals. At December 31, 2017, we employed 93 persons on a full-time basis in our driver recruiting, training and safety instruction programs.

 

Intense competition in the trucking industry for qualified drivers has resulted in additional expense to recruit and retain an adequate supply of drivers, and has had a negative impact on the industry. Our operations have also been impacted and from time to time we have experienced under-utilization and increased expenses due to a shortage of qualified drivers. We place a high priority on the recruitment and retention of an adequate supply of qualified drivers.

 

Available Information

 

The Company maintains a website where additional information concerning its business can be found. The address of that website is www.pamtransport.com. The Company makes available free of charge on its website its Annual Report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) as soon as reasonably practicable after it electronically files or furnishes such materials to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

 

Seasonality

 

Generally, our revenues do not exhibit a significant seasonal pattern; however, revenue is affected by adverse weather conditions, holidays and the number of business days that occur during a given period because revenue is directly related to the available work days of shippers. Operating expenses are typically higher in the winter months primarily due to decreased fuel efficiency and increased maintenance costs associated with inclement weather. In addition, automobile plants for which we transport a large amount of freight typically undergo scheduled shutdowns in July and December and the volume of automotive freight we ship is reduced during such scheduled plant shutdowns.

 

 

Regulation

 

We are a common and contract motor carrier regulated by various United States federal and state, Canadian provincial, and Mexican federal agencies. These regulatory agencies have broad powers, generally governing matters such as authority to engage in motor carrier operations, motor carrier registration, driver hours-of-service (“HOS”), drug and alcohol testing of drivers, and safety, size, and weight of transportation equipment. The primary regulatory agencies affecting the Company’s operations include the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”), the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Agency, and the Surface Transportation Board, which are all agencies within the U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”). We believe that we are in compliance in all material respects with applicable regulatory requirements relating to our business and operate with a “satisfactory” rating (the highest of three rating categories) from the DOT. In addition, we are subject to compliance with cargo-security and transportation regulations issued by the Transportation Security Administration, a component department within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. To the extent that we conduct operations outside the United States, we are subject to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which generally prohibits U.S. companies and their intermediaries from offering bribes to foreign officials for the purpose of obtaining or retaining favorable treatment.

 

In December 2011, the FMCSA released new rules regulating HOS that became effective in July 2013. These rules reduced the maximum hours that could be worked in a consecutive seven day period from 82 to 70, required that a driver take a mandatory thirty minute break during each consecutive eight hour driving period, and required that a driver take a 34 hour rest period, or restart, that included two periods between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. that could only be used one time every seven calendar days.

 

In December 2014, the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015 suspended enforcement of the requirements for use of the 34 hour restart that became effective in July 2013 and replaced them with the previous restart rules that were in effect on June 30, 2013 pending the completion of the Commercial Vehicle Driver Restart Study which is designed to measure and compare the fatigue and safety performance of truck drivers using the two different versions of the HOS restart provisions. As of December 31, 2017, the study has been completed, but the findings have not been publicly disclosed.

 

In July 2012, Congress passed legislation renewing the mandate for electronic logging devices and designated authority to the FMCSA to propose a new rule. In December 2015, the FMCSA amended the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations to establish minimum performance and design standards for HOS electronic logging devices (“ELDs”); requirements for the mandatory use of these devices by drivers currently required to prepare HOS records of duty status; requirements concerning HOS supporting documents; and measures to address concerns about harassment resulting from the mandatory use of ELDs. This ruling affects nearly all carriers, including us, and required ELDs to be installed prior to December 2017, with enforcement beginning in April 2018. Since our trucks are currently ELD equipped, we do not foresee a negative impact to our profitability as a result of this new rule; however, we believe that more effective enforcement of HOS rules on smaller carriers may present challenges for them and may improve our competitive position.

 

The FMCSA administers carrier safety compliance and enforcement through its Compliance, Safety, Accountability (“CSA”) program that became effective in December 2010. CSA is designed to measure and evaluate the safety performance of carriers and drivers through categorization of inspection and crash results into Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (“BASICs”) including unsafe/fatigued driving, driver fitness, controlled substances and alcohol, maintenance, cargo, and crashes. BASIC scores are evaluated relative to carrier peer groups to determine carriers that exceed certain thresholds, identifying them for intervention. Intervention status might include targeted roadside inspections, onsite investigations and the development of cooperative safety plans, among other things. Ongoing compliance with CSA may result in additional expenses to the Company or a reduction in the pool of drivers eligible for us to hire. In addition to FMCSA action, a BASIC score that exceeds an intervention threshold might have a negative impact on our ability to attract customers and drivers.

 

 

The Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) jointly developed new standards for various vehicles, including heavy duty trucks, that were adopted in August 2011 and cover model years 2014 through 2018. The standard adopted for heavy duty trucks is intended to achieve a reduction in CO2 and fuel consumption ranging from 7% to 20% by model year 2017. In August 2016, the EPA and NHTSA finalized the second phase of these standards which will further reduce GHG emissions and fuel consumption for heavy duty trucks through model year 2027. In addition, the state of California has adopted its own fuel efficiency regulations that include the use of special aerodynamic equipment for trucks and 53 foot trailers traveling through the state. Compliance with these federal and state requirements has increased the cost of our equipment and may further increase the cost of replacement equipment in the future.

 

Our motor carrier operations are also subject to environmental laws and regulations, including laws and regulations dealing with the transportation of hazardous materials and other environmental matters, and our operations involve certain inherent environmental risks. Our operations involve the risks of fuel spillage or seepage, environmental damage, and hazardous waste disposal, among others. We have instituted programs to monitor and control environmental risks and assure compliance with applicable environmental laws. As part of our safety and risk management program, we periodically perform internal environmental reviews so that we can achieve environmental compliance and avoid environmental risk. We transport a minimum amount of environmentally hazardous substances and, to date, have experienced no significant claims for hazardous materials shipments. If we should fail to comply with applicable regulations, we could be subject to substantial fines or penalties and to civil and criminal liability.

 

Company operations are often conducted in industrial areas, where truck terminals and other industrial activities are conducted, and where groundwater or other forms of environmental contamination have occurred, which could potentially expose us to claims that we contributed to the environmental contamination.

 

We believe we are currently in material compliance with applicable laws and regulations and that the cost of compliance has not materially affected results of operations.

 

Item 1A. Risk Factors.

 

Set forth below, and elsewhere in this Report and in other documents we file with the SEC, are risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ materially from the results contemplated by the forward-looking statements contained in this Report.

 

Risks Related to Our Business

 

Our business is subject to general economic and business factors that are largely beyond our control, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our operating results.

 

Our business is dependent upon a number of general economic and business factors that may adversely affect our results of operations. These factors include significant increases or rapid fluctuations in fuel prices, excess capacity in the trucking industry, surpluses in the market for used equipment, interest rates, fuel taxes, license and registration fees, insurance premiums, self-insurance levels, and difficulty in attracting and retaining qualified drivers, independent contractors, and third party carriers.

 

We operate in a highly competitive and fragmented industry, and our business may suffer if we are unable to adequately address any downward pricing pressures or other factors that may adversely affect our ability to compete with other carriers.

 

 

Further, we are affected by recessionary economic cycles and downturns in customers’ business cycles, particularly in market segments and industries, such as the automotive industry, where we have a significant concentration of customers. Economic conditions may also adversely affect our customers and their ability to pay for our services.

 

Deterioration in the United States and/or world economies could exacerbate any difficulties experienced by our customers and suppliers in obtaining financing, which, in turn, could materially and adversely impact our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

 

Numerous competitive factors could impair our ability to operate at an acceptable profit. These factors include, but are not limited to, the following:

 

we compete with many other truckload carriers of varying sizes and, to a lesser extent, with less-than-truckload carriers and railroads, some of which have more equipment and greater capital resources than we do;

 

some of our competitors periodically reduce their freight rates to gain business, especially during times of reduced growth rates in the economy, which may limit our ability to maintain or increase freight rates, maintain our margins or maintain significant growth in our business;

 

many customers reduce the number of carriers they use by selecting so-called “core carriers” as approved service providers, and in some instances we may not be selected;

 

many customers periodically accept bids from multiple carriers for their shipping needs, and this process may depress freight rates or result in the loss of some of our business to competitors;

 

the trend toward consolidation in the trucking industry may create other large carriers with greater financial resources and other competitive advantages relating to their size and with whom we may have difficulty competing;

 

advances in technology require increased investments to remain competitive, and our customers may not be willing to accept higher freight rates to cover the cost of these investments;

 

competition from Internet-based and other logistics and freight brokerage companies may adversely affect our customer relationships and freight rates; and

 

economies of scale that may be passed on to smaller carriers by procurement aggregation providers may improve their ability to compete with us.

 

We are highly dependent on our major customers, the loss of one or more of which could have a material adverse effect on our business.

 

A significant portion of our revenue is generated from our major customers. For 2017, our top five customers, based on revenue, accounted for approximately 41% of our revenue, and our three largest customers, General Motors Company, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and Ford Motor Company, accounted for approximately 18%, 10%, and 9% of our revenue, respectively. We also provide transportation services to other manufacturers who are suppliers for automobile manufacturers. As a result, the concentration of our business within the automobile industry is greater than the concentration in a single customer. Approximately 46% of our revenues for 2017 were derived from transportation services provided to the automobile industry.

 

Generally, we do not have long-term contractual relationships with our major customers, and we cannot assure that our customer relationships will continue as presently in effect. A reduction in or termination of our services by our major customers could have a material adverse effect on our business and operating results.

 

 

We may be adversely impacted by fluctuations in the price and availability of diesel fuel.

 

Diesel fuel represents a significant operating expense for the Company and we do not currently hedge against the risk of diesel fuel price increases. An increase in diesel fuel prices or diesel fuel taxes, or any change in federal or state regulations that results in such an increase, could have a material adverse effect on our operating results to the extent we are unable to recoup such increases from customers in the form of increased freight rates or through fuel surcharges. Historically, we have been able to offset, to a certain extent, diesel fuel price increases through fuel surcharges to our customers, but we cannot be certain that we will be able to do so in the future. We continuously monitor the components of our pricing, including base freight rates and fuel surcharges, and address individual account profitability issues with our customers when necessary. While we have historically been able to adjust our pricing to help offset changes to the cost of diesel fuel through changes to base rates and/or fuel surcharges, we cannot be certain that we will be able to do so in the future.

 

Difficulty in attracting drivers and independent contractors could affect our profitability and ability to grow.

 

The transportation industry often experiences significant difficulty in attracting and retaining qualified drivers and independent contractors. This shortage is exacerbated by several factors, including demand from competing industries, such as manufacturing, construction and farming, demand from other transportation companies, and the impact of regulations, including CSA and new hours of service rules. Economic conditions affecting operating costs such as fuel, insurance, equipment and maintenance costs can negatively impact the number of qualified independent contractors available to us. We have from time to time experienced under-utilization and increased expenses due to a shortage of qualified drivers. If we are unable to attract drivers or contract with independent contractors when needed, we could be required to further adjust our driver compensation packages, increase driver recruiting efforts, or let trucks sit idle, any of which could adversely affect our growth and profitability.

 

If we are unable to retain our key employees, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be harmed.

 

We are highly dependent upon the services of our key employees and executive officers. The loss of any of their services could have a material adverse effect on our operations and future profitability. We must continue to develop and retain a core group of managers if we are to realize our goal of expanding our operations and continuing our growth. We cannot be certain of our ability to retain these key individuals.

 

Ongoing insurance and claims expenses could significantly reduce our earnings.

 

Our future insurance and claims expenses might exceed historical levels, which could reduce our earnings. The Company is self-insured for health and workers’ compensation insurance coverage up to certain limits. If medical costs continue to increase, or if the severity or number of claims increase, and if we are unable to offset the resulting increases in expenses with higher freight rates, our earnings could be materially and adversely affected. Healthcare legislation and inflationary cost increases could also have a negative effect on our results.

 

Purchase price increases for new revenue equipment and/or decreases in the value of used revenue equipment could have an adverse effect on our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.

 

During the last decade, the purchase price of new revenue equipment has increased significantly as equipment manufacturers recover increased materials and engine design costs resulting from compliance with increasingly stringent EPA engine emission standards. Additional EPA emission mandates in the future could result in higher purchase prices of revenue equipment which could result in higher than anticipated depreciation expenses. If we were unable to offset any such increase in expenses with freight rate increases, our cash flows and results of operations could be adversely affected. If the market price for used revenue equipment declines, we could incur substantial losses upon disposition of our revenue equipment which could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

 

 

We have significant ongoing capital requirements that could affect our liquidity and profitability if we are unable to generate sufficient cash from operations or obtain sufficient financing on favorable terms.

 

The trucking industry is capital intensive. If we are unable to generate sufficient cash from operations in the future, we may have to limit our growth, enter into unfavorable financing arrangements, or operate our revenue equipment for longer periods, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our profitability.

 

We have a substantial amount of debt, which could restrict our growth, place us at a competitive disadvantage or otherwise materially adversely affect our financial health. Our substantial debt levels could have important consequences such as the following:

 

impair our ability to obtain additional future financing for working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions or general corporate expenses;

 

limit our ability to use operating cash flow in other areas of our business due to the necessity of dedicating a substantial portion of these funds for payments on our indebtedness;

 

limit our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our business and the industry in which we operate;

 

make it more difficult for us to satisfy our obligations;

 

increase our vulnerability to general adverse economic and industry conditions; and

 

place us at a competitive disadvantage compared to our competitors.

 

Our ability to make scheduled payments on, or to refinance, our debt and other obligations will depend on our financial and operating performance, which, in turn, is subject to our ability to implement our strategic initiatives, prevailing economic conditions and certain financial, business and other factors beyond our control. If our cash flow and capital resources are insufficient to fund our debt service and other obligations, we may be forced to reduce or delay expansion plans and capital expenditures, sell material assets or operations, obtain additional capital or restructure our debt. We cannot provide any assurance that our operating performance, cash flow and capital resources will be sufficient to pay our debt obligations when they become due. We also cannot provide assurance that we would be able to dispose of material assets or operations or restructure our debt or other obligations if necessary or, even if we were able to take such actions, that we could do so on terms that are acceptable to us.

 

Disruptions in the credit markets may adversely affect our business, including the availability and cost of short-term funds for liquidity requirements and our ability to meet long-term commitments, which could adversely affect our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.

 

If cash from operations is not sufficient, we may be required to rely on the capital and credit markets to meet our financial commitments and short-term liquidity needs. Disruptions in the capital and credit markets could adversely affect our ability to draw on our bank revolving credit facility. Our access to funds under the credit facility is dependent on the ability of banks to meet their funding commitments. A bank may not be able to meet their funding commitments if they experience shortages of capital and liquidity or if they experience excessive volumes of borrowing requests from other borrowers within a short period of time.

 

 

Longer term disruptions in the capital and credit markets as a result of uncertainty, changing or increased regulation, reduced alternatives, or failures of significant financial institutions could adversely affect our access to liquidity needed for our business. Any disruption could require us to take measures to conserve cash until the markets stabilize or until alternative credit arrangements or other funding for our business needs can be arranged, which could adversely affect our growth and profitability.

 

 

We operate in a highly regulated industry and increased costs of compliance with, or liability for violation of, existing or future regulations could have a material adverse effect on our business.

 

Our operations are authorized and regulated by various federal and state agencies in the United States, Mexico and Canada, that generally govern such activities as authorization to engage in motor carrier operations, safety, and financial reporting. Specific standards and regulations such as equipment dimensions, engine emissions, maintenance, drivers’ hours of service, drug and alcohol testing, and hazardous materials are regulated by the Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency and various other state and federal agencies. We may become subject to new or more restrictive regulations imposed by these authorities which could significantly impair equipment and driver productivity and increase operating expenses.

 

The FMCSA administers carrier safety compliance and enforcement through its CSA program that became effective in December 2010. The program places carriers in peer groups and assigns each carrier a relative ranking compared to their peers in various categories. Carriers that exceed allowable thresholds in a particular category are placed in “intervention” status by the FMCSA until the score improves to a level below the threshold. If future roadside inspections or crashes were to result in the Company being placed in intervention status, we may incur additional operating costs to improve our safety program in deficient categories, experience increased roadside inspections, or have onsite visits by the FMCSA. If the intervention category is not remedied, it could affect our ability to attract and retain drivers and customers as they seek competitive carriers with scores below intervention thresholds. In addition the CSA program could increase competition and related compensation and recruitment costs for drivers and independent contractors by reducing the pool of qualified drivers if existing drivers exit the profession, become disqualified due to low scores or as carriers focus recruiting efforts on drivers with the best relative safety scores.

 

The EPA and the NHTSA jointly developed standards for various vehicles, including heavy duty trucks, that were adopted in August 2011 and cover model years 2014 through 2018. These standards are designed to reduce GHG emissions and improve fuel economy for heavy duty trucks. In August 2016, the EPA and NHTSA finalized the second phase of these standards which will further reduce GHG emissions and fuel consumption for heavy duty trucks through model year 2027. Compliance with these federal and state requirements has increased the cost of our equipment and may further increase the cost of replacement equipment in the future.

 

The Regulation section in Item 1 of Part I of this Annual Report on Form 10-K discusses several proposed and final regulations that could materially impact our business and operations.

 

We are subject to certain risks arising from doing business in Mexico.

 

As we continue to grow our business in Mexico, we are subject to greater risks of doing business internationally, including fluctuations in foreign currencies, changes in the economic strength of Mexico, difficulties in enforcing contractual obligations and intellectual property rights, burdens of complying with a wide variety of international and U.S. export and import laws, and social, political, and economic instability. We also face additional risks associated with our Mexico business, including potential restrictive trade policies and imposition of any import or export taxes, duties, fees, etc. If we are unable to address business concerns related to our international operations in a timely and cost efficient manner, our financial position, results of operations or cash flows could be adversely affected. The agreement permitting cross border movements for both United States and Mexican based carriers in the United States and Mexico presents additional risks in the form of potential increased competition and the potential for increased congestion in our lanes that cross the border between countries.

 

 

A determination by regulators that independent contractors are employees could expose us to various liabilities and additional costs.

 

Tax and other regulatory authorities often seek to assert that independent contractors in the transportation service industry are employees rather than independent contractors. There can be no assurance that interpretations and tax laws that support the independent contractor status will not change or that various authorities will not successfully assert a position that re-classifies independent contractors to be employees. If our independent contractors are determined to be our employees, that determination could materially increase our exposure under a variety of federal and state tax, workers’ compensation, unemployment benefits, labor, employment and tort laws, as well as our potential liability for employee benefits. In addition, such changes may be applied retroactively, and if so, we may be required to pay additional amounts to compensate for prior periods. Any of the above increased costs would adversely affect our business and operating results.

 

Our results of operations may be affected by seasonal factors.

 

Our productivity may decrease during the winter season when severe winter weather impedes operations. Also, some shippers may reduce their shipments after the winter holiday season. At the same time, operating expenses may increase and fuel efficiency may decline due to engine idling during periods of inclement weather. Harsh weather conditions generally also result in higher accident frequency, increased freight claims, and higher equipment repair expenditures. In addition, automobile plants for which we transport a large amount of freight typically undergo scheduled shutdowns in July and December which reduces the volume of automotive freight we ship during these plant shutdowns.

 

Our business may be disrupted by natural disasters and severe weather conditions causing supply chain disruptions.

 

Natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods or other adverse weather and climate conditions, whether occurring in the United States or abroad, could disrupt our operations or the operations of our customers or could damage or destroy infrastructure necessary to transport products as part of the supply chain. Specifically, these events may damage or destroy our assets, disrupt fuel supplies, increase fuel costs, disrupt freight shipments or routes, and affect regional economies. As a result, these events could make it difficult or impossible for us to provide logistics and transportation services; disrupt or prevent our ability to perform functions at the corporate level; and/or otherwise impede our ability to continue business operations in a continuous manner consistent with the level and extent of business activities prior to the occurrence of the unexpected event, which could adversely affect our business and results of operations or make our results more volatile.

 

We may incur additional operating expenses or liabilities as a result of potential future requirements to address climate change issues.

 

As global warming issues become more prevalent, federal, state and local governments as well as some of our customers, have made efforts to respond to these issues. This increased focus on sustainability may result in new legislation or regulations and customer requirements that could negatively affect us as we may incur additional costs or be required to make changes to our operations in order to comply with any new regulations or customer requirements. Legislation or regulations that potentially impose restrictions, caps, taxes, or other controls on emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, a by-product of burning fossil fuels such as those used in the Company’s trucks, could adversely affect our operations and financial results. More specifically, legislative or regulatory actions relating to climate change could adversely impact the Company by increasing our fuel costs and reducing fuel efficiency and could result in the creation of substantial additional capital expenditures and operating costs in the form of taxes, emissions allowances, or required equipment upgrades. Any of these factors could impair our operating efficiency and productivity and result in higher operating costs. In addition, revenues could decrease if we are unable to meet regulatory or customer sustainability requirements. These additional costs, changes in operations, or loss of revenues could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

 

Our operations are subject to various environmental laws and regulations, the violation of which could result in substantial fines or penalties.

 

We are subject to various environmental laws and regulations dealing with the handling of hazardous materials, underground fuel storage tanks, and discharge and retention of storm-water. We operate in industrial areas, where truck terminals and other industrial activities are located, and where groundwater or other forms of environmental contamination could occur. In prior years, we also maintained bulk fuel storage and fuel islands at two of our facilities. Our operations may involve the risks of fuel spillage or seepage, environmental damage, and hazardous waste disposal, among others. If we are involved in a spill or other accident involving hazardous substances, or if we are found to be in violation of applicable laws or regulations, it could have a materially adverse effect on our business and operating results. If we should fail to comply with applicable environmental regulations, we could be subject to substantial fines or penalties and to civil and criminal liability.

 

If our employees were to unionize, our operating costs would increase and our ability to compete would be impaired.

 

None of our employees are currently represented by a collective bargaining agreement. However, we can offer no assurance that our employees will not unionize in the future, particularly if legislation is passed that facilitates unionization. If our employees were to unionize, our operating costs would increase and our profitability could be adversely affected.

 

Our information technology systems are subject to certain cyber security and disaster risks that are beyond our control.

 

We depend heavily on the proper functioning and availability of our information, communications, and data processing systems, including operating and financial reporting systems, in operating our business. Our operating system is critical in meeting customer expectations, effectively tracking, maintaining and operating our equipment, directing and compensating our employees, and interfacing with our financial reporting system. Our financial reporting system receives, processes, controls and reports information for operating our business and for tabulation into our financial statements.

 

While we are not aware of a breach that has resulted in lost productivity or exposure of sensitive information to date, we are aware that our systems are targeted by various viruses and cyber-attacks and expect these efforts to continue. Our systems and those of our technology and communications providers are vulnerable to interruptions caused by natural disasters, power loss, telecommunication and internet failures, cyber-attack, and other events beyond our control. Accordingly, information security and the continued development and enhancement of the controls and processes designed to protect our systems, computers, software, data and networks from attack, damage or unauthorized access remain a priority for us.

 

Although our information systems are protected through physical and software security as well as redundant backup systems, they remain susceptible to cyber security risks. Some of our software systems are utilized by third parties who provide outsourced processing services which may increase the risk of a cyber-security incident.

 

A successful cyber-attack or catastrophic natural disaster could significantly affect our operating and financial systems and could temporarily disrupt our ability to provide required services to our customers, impact our ability to manage our operations and perform vital financial processes, any of which could have a materially adverse effect on our business.

 

We have substantial fixed costs and, as a result, our operating income fluctuates disproportionately with changes in our net sales.

 

A significant portion of our expenses are fixed costs that neither increase nor decrease proportionately with sales. There can be no assurance that we would be able to reduce our fixed costs proportionately in response to a decline in our sales, and therefore our competitiveness could be significantly impacted. As a result, a decline in our sales would result in a higher percentage decline in our income from operations and net income.

 

 

Our financial results may be adversely impacted by potential future changes in accounting standards or practices.

 

Future changes in accounting standards or practices, and related legal and regulatory interpretations of those changes, may adversely impact public companies in general, the transportation industry or our operations specifically. New accounting standards or requirements, could change the way we account for, disclose and present various aspects of our financial position, results of operations or cash flows and could be costly to implement.

 

Our business may be harmed by terrorist attacks, future war or anti-terrorism measures.

 

In order to prevent terrorist attacks, federal, state and municipal authorities have implemented and continue to follow various security measures, including checkpoints and travel restrictions on large trucks. Our international operations in Canada and Mexico may be affected significantly if there are any disruptions or closures of border traffic due to security measures. Such measures may have costs associated with them, which, in connection with the transportation services we provide, we or our independent contractors could be forced to bear. In addition, war or risk of war also may have an adverse effect on the economy. A decline in economic activity could adversely affect our revenue or restrict our future growth. Instability in the financial markets as a result of terrorism or war also could affect our ability to raise capital. In addition, the insurance premiums charged for some or all of the coverage currently maintained by us could increase dramatically or such coverage could be unavailable in the future.

 

We may be unable to successfully integrate businesses we acquire into our operations.

 

Integrating businesses we acquire may involve unanticipated delays, costs or other operational or financial problems. Successful integration of the businesses we acquire depends on a number of factors, including our ability to transition acquired companies to our information systems. In integrating businesses we acquire, we may not achieve expected economies of scale or profitability or realize sufficient revenues to justify our investment. We also face the risk that an unexpected problem at one of the companies we acquire will require substantial time and attention from senior management, diverting management’s attention from other aspects of our business. We cannot be certain that our management and operational controls will be able to support us as we grow.

 

Risks Related to Our Common Stock

 

The Chairman of our board of directors holds a controlling interest in the Company; therefore, the influence of our public shareholders over significant corporate actions is limited, and we are not subject to certain corporate governance standards that apply to other publicly traded companies.

 

Matthew T. Moroun, the Chairman of our Board of Directors, and a trust of which Mr. Moroun is a co-trustee together own approximately 63.2% of our outstanding common stock. As a result, Mr. Moroun has the power to:

 

control all matters submitted to our shareholders;

 

elect our directors;

 

adopt, extend or remove any anti-takeover provisions that are available to us; and

 

exercise control over our business, policies and affairs.

 

 

This concentration of ownership could limit the price that some investors might be willing to pay for shares of our common stock, and our ability to engage in significant transactions, such as a merger, acquisition or liquidation, will require the consent of Mr. Moroun. Conflicts of interest could arise between us and Mr. Moroun, and any conflict of interest may be resolved in a manner that does not favor us. Accordingly, Mr. Moroun could cause us to enter into transactions or agreements of which our other shareholders would not approve or make decisions with which they may disagree. Because of Mr. Moroun’s level of ownership, we have elected to be treated as a controlled company in accordance with the rules of the NASDAQ Stock Market. Accordingly, we are not required to comply with NASDAQ Stock Market rules which would otherwise require a majority of our Board to be comprised of independent directors and require our Board to have a compensation committee and a nominating and corporate governance committee comprised of independent directors.

 

Mr. Moroun may continue to retain control of the Company for the foreseeable future and may decide not to enter into a transaction in which shareholders would receive consideration for our common stock that is much higher than the then-current market price of our common stock. In addition, Mr. Moroun could elect to sell a controlling interest in us to a third-party and our other shareholders may not be able to participate in such transaction or, if they are able to participate in such a transaction, such shareholders may receive less than the then-current fair market value of their shares. Any decision regarding ownership of us that Mr. Moroun may make at some future time will be in his absolute discretion, subject to applicable laws and fiduciary duties.

 

Our stock trading volume may not provide adequate liquidity for investors.

 

Although shares of our common stock are traded on the NASDAQ Global Market, the average daily trading volume in our common stock is less than that of other larger transportation and logistics companies. A public trading market having the desired characteristics of depth, liquidity and orderliness depends on the presence in the marketplace of a sufficient number of willing buyers and sellers of the common stock at any given time. This presence depends on the individual decisions of investors and general economic and market conditions over which we have no control. Given the daily average trading volume of our common stock, significant sales of the common stock in a brief period of time, or the expectation of these sales, could cause a decline in the price of our common stock. Additionally, low trading volumes may limit a stockholder’s ability to sell shares of our common stock.

 

We currently do not intend to pay future dividends on our common stock.

 

We currently do not anticipate paying future cash dividends on our common stock. Any determination to pay future dividends and other distributions in cash, stock, or property by the Company in the future will be at the discretion of our Board of Directors and will be dependent on then-existing conditions, including our financial condition and results of operations and contractual restrictions. Therefore, stockholders should not rely on future dividend income from shares of our common stock.

 

Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments.

 

None.

 

 

Item 2. Properties.

 

Our executive offices and primary terminal facilities, which we own, are located in Tontitown, Arkansas. These facilities are located on approximately 44.6 acres and consist of 114,403 square feet of office space and maintenance and storage facilities.

 

Our subsidiaries lease facilities in Indianapolis, Indiana; Romulus, Michigan; Tahlequah, Oklahoma; Memphis, Tennessee, and Monterrey, Mexico. Our terminal facilities in North Little Rock, Arkansas; North Jackson, Ohio; Willard, Ohio; and Irving and Laredo, Texas are owned. The leased facilities are leased primarily on contractual terms typically ranging from one to five years. As of December 31, 2017, the following table provides a summary of the ownership and types of activities conducted at each location:

 

 

Location

Own/

Lease

Dispatch

Office

Maintenance

Facility

Safety

Training

Tontitown, Arkansas

Own

Yes

Yes

Yes

North Little Rock, Arkansas

Own

No

Yes

Yes

Indianapolis, Indiana

Lease

No

Yes

No

Romulus, Michigan

Lease

No

Yes

No

North Jackson, Ohio

Own

Yes

Yes

Yes

Willard, Ohio

Own

Yes

Yes

No

Tahlequah, Oklahoma

Lease

No

No

No

Irving, Texas

Own

Yes

Yes

Yes

Laredo, Texas

Own

Yes

Yes

Yes

Monterrey, Mexico

Lease

No

No

No

Memphis, Tennessee

Lease

No

Yes

No

 

We also have access to trailer drop and relay stations in various other locations across the country. We lease certain of these facilities on a month-to-month basis from affiliates of our largest stockholder.

 

We believe that all of the properties that we own or lease are suitable for their purposes and adequate to meet our needs.

 

Item 3. Legal Proceedings.

 

The nature of our business routinely results in litigation, primarily involving claims for personal injuries and property damage incurred in the transportation of freight. We believe that all such routine litigation is adequately covered by insurance and that adverse results in one or more of those cases would not have a material adverse effect on our financial statements.

 

We are a defendant in a collective-action lawsuit which was re-filed on December 9, 2016, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas. The plaintiffs, who are former drivers who worked for the Company during the period of December 6, 2013, through the date of the filing, allege violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Arkansas Minimum Wage Law. The plaintiffs, through their attorneys, have filed causes of action alleging “Failure to pay minimum wage during orientation, failure to pay minimum wage to team drivers after initial orientation, failure to pay minimum wage to solo-drivers after initial orientation, failure to pay for compensable travel time, Comdata card fees, unlawful deductions, and breach of contract.” The plaintiffs are seeking actual and liquidated damages to include court costs and legal fees. The lawsuit is currently under preliminary review. We cannot reasonably estimate, at this time, the possible loss or range of loss, if any, that may arise from this lawsuit. Management has determined that any losses under this claim will not be covered by existing insurance policies.

 

Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures.

 

Not applicable.

 

 

PART II

 

Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.

 

Our common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol PTSI. The following table sets forth, for the quarters indicated, the range of the high and low sales prices per share for our common stock as reported on the NASDAQ Global Market.

 

Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2017

   

High

   

Low

 

First Quarter

  $ 27.17     $ 15.53  

Second Quarter

    20.45       14.50  

Third Quarter

    24.31       16.34  

Fourth Quarter

    43.20       23.09  

 

Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2016

   

High

   

Low

 

First Quarter

  $ 32.23     $ 22.13  

Second Quarter

    30.99       14.75  

Third Quarter

    21.32       15.60  

Fourth Quarter

    28.43       18.75  

 

As of February 16, 2018, there were approximately 78 holders of record of our common stock.

 

Dividends

 

The Company paid cash dividends of $1.00 per common share during each of the months of April 2012 and December 2012. No dividends were paid during any year prior to 2012 or subsequent to 2012. Future dividend policy and the payment of dividends, if any, will be determined by the Board of Directors in light of circumstances then existing, including our earnings, financial condition and other factors deemed relevant by the Board of Directors. Currently, the Company does not intend to pay dividends in the foreseeable future.

 

Repurchases of Equity Securities by the Issuer

 

The Company’s stock repurchase program has been extended and expanded several times, most recently in April 2017, when the Board of Directors reauthorized 500,000 shares of common stock for repurchase under the initial September 2011 authorization. Following the reauthorization, the Company repurchased 110,316 shares of its common stock under this repurchase program.

 

In October 2017, our Board of Directors authorized the repurchase of up to 400,000 shares of our common stock through a Dutch auction tender offer (the “2017 tender offer”). Subject to certain limitations and legal requirements, the Company could repurchase up to an additional 2% of its outstanding shares which totals 126,060 shares. The 2017 tender offer commenced on October 10, 2017 and expired on November 7, 2017. Through this tender offer, the Company’s shareholders had the opportunity to tender some or all of their shares at a price within the range of $27.00 to $30.00 per share. Upon expiration, 143,859 shares were purchased through this offer at a final purchase price of $30.00 per share for a total of approximately $4.4 million, including fees and commission. The repurchase was settled on November 10, 2017. The Company accounted for the repurchase of these shares as treasury stock on the Company’s consolidated balance sheet as of December 31, 2017.

 

In addition, the Company repurchased 567,413 shares and 298,566 shares during 2016 and 2015, respectively, through publicly announced Dutch auction tender offers. See “Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, Note 7 to the Consolidated Financial Statements – Capital Stock” for additional information regarding these tender offers.

 

 

The following table summarizes the Company’s common stock repurchases during the fourth quarter of 2017 made pursuant to the 2017 tender offer. No shares were purchased during the quarter other than through the 2017 tender offer, and all purchases were made by or on behalf of the Company and not by any “affiliated purchaser”.

 

Period  

Total number

of shares

purchased

   

Average

price

paid per

share

   

Total number of shares

purchased as part of

publicly announced

plans or programs

   

Maximum

number of shares

that may yet be

purchased under

the plans or

programs(1)

 

October 1-31, 2017

    -       -       -       389,684  

November 1-30, 2017

    143,859  (2)   $ 30.00       143,859  (2)     389,684  

December 1-31, 2017

    -       -       -       389,684  

Total

    143,859     $ 30.00       143,859          

 

(1)

The Company’s stock repurchase program does not have an expiration date.

(2)

All shares were purchased pursuant to the 2017 tender offer.

 

Securities Authorized for Issuance Under Equity Compensation Plans

 

See Part III, Item 12, “Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters” of this Annual Report for a presentation of compensation plans under which equity securities of the Company are authorized for issuance.

 

 

Performance Graph

 

Set forth below is a line graph comparing the yearly percentage change in the cumulative total stockholder return on our common stock against the cumulative total return of the NASDAQ OMX Index for the NASDAQ Stock Market (U.S. companies) and the NASDAQ OMX Index for the NASDAQ Trucking and Transportation Stocks for the period of five years commencing December 31, 2012 and ending December 31, 2017. The graph assumes that the value of the investment in our common stock and in each index was $100 on December 31, 2012 and that all dividends were reinvested.

 

COMPARISON OF CUMULATIVE TOTAL RETURN AMONG OUR COMMON STOCK,

THE NASDAQ OMX INDEX FOR THE NASDAQ STOCK MARKET (U.S. COMPANIES)

AND THE NASDAQ TRUCKING AND TRANSPORTATION STOCKS INDEX THROUGH DECEMBER 31, 2017

 

  

 

 

Item 6. Selected Financial Data.

 

The following selected financial and operating data should be read in conjunction with the Consolidated Financial Statements and notes thereto included elsewhere in this Report.

 

   

Year Ended December 31,

 
   

2017

   

2016

   

2015

   

2014

   

2013

 
   

(in thousands, except per share amounts)

 

Statement of Operations Data:

                                       

Operating revenues:

                                       

Operating revenues, before fuel surcharge

  $ 373,523     $ 382,737     $ 355,403     $ 316,584     $ 313,117  

Fuel surcharge

    64,315       50,115       61,647       94,353       89,696  

Total operating revenues

    437,838       432,852       417,050       410,937       402,813  
                                         

Operating expenses:

                                       

Salaries, wages and benefits

    102,227       112,235       105,943       108,371       107,037  

Operating supplies and expenses

    79,505       82,993       89,878       126,875       137,268  

Rent and purchased transportation

    174,477       158,298       134,188       90,831       85,226  

Depreciation

    42,274       39,114       32,346       36,296       39,088  

Insurance and claims

    17,484       16,632       15,315       20,274       14,586  

Other

    9,249       8,352       8,904       9,871       8,956  

Gain on sale or disposal of property

    (58 )     (4,700 )     (5,754 )     (4,591 )     (854 )

Total operating expenses

    425,158       412,924       380,820       387,927       391,307  

Operating income

    12,680       19,928       36,230       23,010       11,506  

Non-operating income

    5,853       1,485       1,516       2,099       1,540  

Interest expense

    (3,902 )     (3,641 )     (2,818 )     (2,897 )     (3,375 )

Income before income taxes

    14,631       17,772       34,928       22,212       9,671  

Income tax (benefit) expense

    (24,268 )     6,671       13,492       8,721       3,756  

Net income

  $ 38,899     $ 11,101     $ 21,436     $ 13,491     $ 5,915  
                                         

Earnings per common share:

                                       

Basic

  $ 6.14     $ 1.68     $ 2.94     $ 1.69     $ 0.68  

Diluted

  $ 6.08     $ 1.67     $ 2.93     $ 1.68     $ 0.68  
                                         

Average common shares outstanding – Basic

    6,331       6,627       7,288       7,990       8,662  

Average common shares outstanding – Diluted (1)

    6,398       6,649       7,325       8,034       8,682  
                                         

Cash dividends declared per common share

  $ -     $ -     $ -     $ -     $ -  
  __________
 

(1)

Diluted income per share for 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, and 2013 assumes the exercise of stock options to purchase an aggregate of 50,177, 39,093, 44,755, 71,990, and 92,496 shares of common stock, respectively.

 

 

   

At December 31,

   
   

2017

   

2016

   

2015

   

2014

   

2013

   

Balance Sheet Data:

 

(in thousands)

   

Total assets

  $ 392,185     $ 380,066     $ 357,995     $ 324,605       $ 329,302       

Long-term debt, excluding current portion

    98,995       124,391       99,223       52,293       70,366    

Stockholders' equity

    127,604       94,158       101,554       99,985       115,946    

 

    Year Ended December 31,
   

2017

   

2016

   

2015

   

2014

   

2013

   

Operating Data:

                                         

Operating ratio (1)

    96.6 %     94.8 %     89.8 %     92.7 %     96.3 %  

Average number of truckloads per week

    7,134       6,827       6,388       5,674       6,120    

Average miles per trip

    635       684       673       729       675    

Total miles traveled (in thousands)

    229,392       237,266       218,418       209,990       209,837    

Average miles per truck

    125,009       125,471       119,419       117,868       116,256    

Average revenue, before fuel surcharge per truck per day

  $ 805     $ 797     $ 765     $ 700     $ 683    

Average revenue, before fuel surcharge per loaded mile

  $ 1.51     $ 1.53     $ 1.53     $ 1.50     $ 1.49    

Empty mile factor

    6.8 %     6.8 %     6.8 %     6.8 %     7.3 %  
                                           

At end of period:

                                         

Total company-owned/leased trucks

    1,721 (2)     1,855 (3)     1,860 (4)     1,761 (5)     1,837 (6)  

Average age of company-owned trucks (in years)

    1.49       1.49       1.32       1.58       1.52    

Total company-owned/leased trailers

    5,795 (7)     5,699 (8)     4,983 (9)     4,919 (10)     5,170 (11)  

Average age of company-owned trailers (in years)

    3.38       2.71       3.47       5.19       6.34    

Number of employees and independent contract drivers

    2,969       3,216       3,049       2,911       3,022    

  __________

 

(1)

Total operating expenses, net of fuel surcharge as a percentage of operating revenues, before fuel surcharge;

 

(2)

Includes 560 independent contractor trucks; (3) Includes 578 independent contractor trucks; (4) Includes 482 independent contractor trucks; (5) Includes 325 independent contractor trucks; (6) Includes 357 independent contractor trucks; (7) Includes zero leased trailers; (8) Includes 232 leased trailers; (9) Includes 80 leased trailers;

 

(10)

Includes 141 leased trailers; (11) Includes 91 leased trailers.

 

Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.

 

Business Overview

 

The Company's administrative headquarters are in Tontitown, Arkansas. From this location we manage operations conducted through our wholly owned subsidiaries based in various locations around the United States, Mexico, and Canada. The operations of these subsidiaries can generally be classified into either truckload services or brokerage and logistics services. Truckload services include those transportation services in which we utilize company owned trucks or independent contractor owned trucks. Brokerage and logistics services consist of services such as transportation scheduling, routing, mode selection, transloading and other value added services related to the transportation of freight which may or may not involve the usage of company owned or independent contractor owned equipment. Both our truckload operations and our brokerage/logistics operations have similar economic characteristics and are impacted by virtually the same economic factors as discussed elsewhere in this Report. All of the Company's operations are in the motor carrier segment.

 

For both operations, substantially all of our revenue is generated by transporting freight for customers and is predominantly affected by the rates per mile received from our customers, equipment utilization, and our percentage of non-compensated miles. These aspects of our business are carefully managed and efforts are continuously underway to achieve favorable results. Truckload services revenues, excluding fuel surcharges, represented 86.3%, 88.4% and 87.6% of total revenues, excluding fuel surcharges for the twelve months ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively.

 

The main factors that impact our profitability on the expense side are costs incurred in transporting freight for our customers. Currently, our most challenging costs include fuel, driver recruitment, training, wage and benefit costs, independent broker costs (which we record as purchased transportation), insurance, and maintenance and capital equipment costs.

 

 

In discussing our results of operations we use revenue, before fuel surcharge (and operating supplies and expense, net of fuel surcharge), because management believes that eliminating the impact of this sometimes volatile source of revenue allows a more consistent basis for comparing our results of operations from period to period. During 2017, 2016 and 2015, approximately $64.3 million, $50.1 million and $61.6 million, respectively, of the Company's total revenue was generated from fuel surcharges. We also discuss certain changes in our expenses as a percentage of revenue, before fuel surcharge, rather than absolute dollar changes. We do this because we believe the high variable cost nature of certain expenses makes a comparison of changes in expenses as a percentage of revenue more meaningful than absolute dollar changes.

 

Results of Operations - Truckload Services

 

The following table sets forth, for truckload services, the percentage relationship of expense items to operating revenues, before fuel surcharges, for the periods indicated. Operating supplies and expenses are shown net of fuel surcharges.

 

   

Years Ended December 31,

 
   

2017

   

2016

   

2015

 
                         

Operating revenues, before fuel surcharge

    100.0 %     100.0 %     100.0 %

Operating expenses:

                       

Salaries, wages and benefit

    30.9       32.6       33.6  

Operating supplies and expenses, net of fuel surcharge

    4.7       9.7       9.1  

Rent and purchased transportation

    39.9       34.7       29.8  

Depreciation

    13.1       11.5       10.4  

Insurance and claims

    5.4       4.9       4.9  

Other

    2.7       2.4       2.8  

Gain on sale or disposal of property

    (0.0 )     (1.4 )     (1.9 )

Total operating expenses

    96.7       94.4       88.7  

Operating income

    3.3       5.6       11.3  

Non-operating income

    1.7       0.4       0.5  

Interest expense

    (1.1 )     (1.0 )     (0.9 )

Income before income taxes

    3.9 %     5.0 %     10.9 %

 

 

2017 Compared to 2016

 

For the year ended December 31, 2017, truckload services revenue, before fuel surcharges, decreased 4.7% to $322.4 million as compared to $338.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2016. The decrease relates primarily to a decrease in the number of miles traveled and a decrease in the average revenue per mile. The number of miles traveled decreased from 237.3 million miles during 2016 to 229.4 million miles during 2017, primarily as a result of a decrease in the average number of trucks in service, which decreased from 1,891 during 2016 to 1,835 during 2017.

 

Salaries, wages and benefits decreased from 32.6% of revenues, before fuel surcharges, during 2016 to 30.9% of revenues, before fuel surcharges, during 2017. The decrease relates primarily to a decrease in company driver wages paid during 2017 compared to 2016. Our driver pool consists of both company drivers and third-party owner-operator drivers. Company drivers are employees of the Company and perform services in company-owned equipment while owner-operator drivers provide services, under contract, using their own equipment. While each group is generally compensated on a per-mile basis, owner-operator payments are classified in the Company’s financial statements under Rent and purchased transportation. The decrease in Salaries, wages and benefits primarily resulted from a decrease in the overall number of miles driven and to the proportion of total miles driven by company drivers during 2017 compared to 2016. Also contributing to the decrease was a decrease in group health insurance claims under the Company’s self-insured health plan during 2017 as compared to 2016.

 

 

Operating supplies and expenses decreased from 9.7% of revenues, before fuel surcharges, during 2016 to 4.7% of revenues, before fuel surcharges, during 2017. The decrease relates primarily to a decrease in the average surcharge-adjusted fuel price paid per gallon of diesel fuel. The average surcharge-adjusted fuel price paid per gallon of diesel fuel decreased as a result of increased fuel surcharge collections from customers and to an increase in the proportion of total miles travelled by owner-operators in 2017 compared to 2016. Fuel surcharge collections can fluctuate significantly from period to period as they are generally based on changes in fuel prices from period to period so that, during periods of rising fuel prices, fuel surcharge collections increase, while fuel surcharge collections decrease during periods of falling fuel prices. Fuel surcharge revenue generated from transportation services performed by owner-operators is reflected as a reduction in net operating supplies and expenses, while fuel surcharges paid to owner-operators for their services is reported along with their base rate of pay in the Rent and purchased transportation category. These categorizations have the effect of reducing our net operating supplies and expenses while increasing the Rent and purchased transportation category, as discussed below. Also contributing to the decrease was a decrease in amounts paid for driver recruiting and to driver training schools during 2017 as compared to amounts paid during 2016.

 

Rent and purchased transportation increased from 34.7% of revenues, before fuel surcharges, during 2016 to 39.9% of revenues, before fuel surcharges, during 2017. The increase was primarily due to an increase in driver lease expense as average number of owner-operator trucks under contract increased from 557 during 2016 to 634 during 2017. The increase in costs in this category, as it relates to the increase in owner-operators, is partially offset by a decrease in other cost categories, such as repairs and fuel, which are generally borne by the owner-operator.

 

Depreciation increased from 11.5% of revenues, before fuel surcharges, during 2016 to 13.1% of revenues, before fuel surcharges, during 2017. The increase relates primarily to an increase in equipment acquisition costs, increases in the size of the Company’s owned truck and trailer fleet, and to a change in the estimated residual values of certain equipment. The Company uses a three-year and seven-year equipment replacement cycle for trucks and trailers, respectively, and the cost of new trucks and trailers have increased significantly over the previous three-year and seven-year periods. Depreciating higher cost equipment over the same length of time will result in an increase in depreciation expense during the respective period. During 2017 the company-owned trailer fleet increased by 328 trailers as rented trailers were turned in and replaced by company owned trailers. The number of company owned tractors being depreciated increased as tractors used under operating leases were turned in and replaced by company owned equipment. In addition, year over year depreciation increased due to a reduction in expected residual values of certain groups of tractors in August 2016 due to a prolonged depressed used truck market. The reduction in expected residual values resulted in additional depreciation expense of approximately $2.7 million during 2017 compared to $1.3 million during 2016.

 

Gains and losses on sale or disposal of property decreased from a net gain of 1.4% of revenues, before fuel surcharges, during 2016 to less than 0.5% of revenues, before fuel surcharges, during 2017. The decrease relates primarily to fewer trailers being sold during 2017 as compared to 2016 and to the continued depressed market for used equipment.

 

The truckload services division operating ratio, which measures the ratio of operating expenses, net of fuel surcharges, to operating revenues, before fuel surcharges, increased to 96.7% for 2017 from 94.4% for 2016.

 

2016 Compared to 2015

 

For the year ended December 31, 2016, truckload services revenue, before fuel surcharges, increased 8.7% to $338.3 million as compared to $311.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2015. The increase related primarily to an increase in the number of miles traveled and an increase in equipment utilization. The number of miles traveled increased from 218.4 million miles during 2015 to 237.3 million miles during 2016 primarily as a result of an increase in the average number of trucks in service, which increased from 1,829 during 2015 to 1,891 during 2016. Also contributing to the increase in miles traveled was an increase in equipment utilization as the average number of miles traveled each work day increased from 470 miles per truck during 2015 to 494 miles per truck during 2016.

 

 

Salaries, wages and benefits decreased from 33.6% of revenues, before fuel surcharges, during 2015 to 32.6% of revenues, before fuel surcharges, during 2016. The percentage-based decrease was primarily a result of the interaction of expenses with fixed-cost characteristics, such as general and administrative wages, maintenance wages, operations wages, and payroll taxes with an increase in revenues for the periods compared. On a dollar basis, Salaries, wages and benefits increased from $104.6 million during 2015 to $110.2 million during 2016. The increase related primarily to an increase in group health insurance claims expensed under the Company’s self-insured health plan and an increase in workers’ compensation costs during 2016 as compared to 2015.

 

Operating supplies and expenses increased from 9.1% of revenues, before fuel surcharges, during 2015 to 9.7% of revenues, before fuel surcharges, during 2016. The increase related primarily to an increase in amounts paid for driver recruiting and training. The Company recruited a significant portion of its drivers from third-party driver training schools and paid a fee for each driver employed by the Company at the end of the training period. Throughout 2015, and continuing into 2016, the per-driver fee charged by the Company’s largest provider of recruits increased periodically in accordance with an agreed upon fee schedule arrangement. The scheduled fee increases, along with an increase in the count of drivers recruited and other associated recruiting costs, resulted in an increase of $4.4 million in recruiting costs during 2016 as compared to 2015.

 

Rent and purchased transportation increased from 29.8% of revenues, before fuel surcharges, during 2015 to 34.7% of revenues, before fuel surcharges, during 2016. The increase related primarily to an increase in driver lease expense as the average number of independent contractor trucks under contract increased from 414 during 2015 to 557 during 2016. The increase in costs in this category, as they relate to the increase in independent contractors, were partially offset by a decrease in other cost categories, such as repairs and fuel, which are generally borne by the independent contractor.

 

Depreciation increased from 10.4% of revenues, before fuel surcharges, during 2015 to 11.5% of revenues, before fuel surcharges, during 2016. The increase related primarily to an increase in equipment costs, an increase in the size of the Company’s owned trailer fleet, and to a change in the estimated residual values of certain equipment. The Company uses a three-year and seven-year equipment replacement cycle for trucks and trailers, respectively, and the cost of new trucks and trailers have increased significantly over the previous three-year and seven-year periods. Depreciating higher cost equipment over the same length of time will result in an increase in depreciation expense during the respective period. During 2016, the company-owned trailer fleet increased by 415 trailers. Also during 2016, the Company reduced the expected residual values of certain groups of trucks due to a prolonged depressed used truck market. The reduction in expected residual values resulted in additional depreciation expense of approximately $1.3 million during 2016.

 

Other expenses decreased from 2.8% of revenues, before fuel surcharges, during 2015 to 2.4% of revenues, before fuel surcharges, during 2016. The decrease related primarily to a decrease in amounts expensed for legal fees and other supplies and expenses. This decrease was partially offset by an increase for amounts expensed for uncollectible revenue.

 

The truckload services division operating ratio, which measures the ratio of operating expenses, net of fuel surcharges, to operating revenues, before fuel surcharges, increased to 94.4% for 2016 from 88.7% for 2015.

 

 

Results of Operations - Logistics and Brokerage Services

 

The following table sets forth, for logistics and brokerage services, the percentage relationship of expense items to operating revenues, before fuel surcharges, for the periods indicated. Brokerage service operations occur specifically in certain divisions; however, brokerage operations occur throughout the Company in similar operations having substantially similar economic characteristics. Rent and purchased transportation, which includes costs paid to third party carriers, are shown net of fuel surcharges.

 

   

Years Ended December 31,

 
   

2017

   

2016

   

2015

 
                         

Operating revenues, before fuel surcharge

    100.0 %     100.0 %     100.0 %

Operating expenses:

                       

Salaries, wages and benefits

    4.9       4.5       3.1  

Rent and purchased transportation

    89.8       92.5       94.0  

Insurance and claims

    0.1       0.0       0.0  

Other

    1.2       0.6       0.6  

Total operating expenses

    96.0       97.6       97.7  

Operating income

    4.0       2.4       2.3  

Non-operating income

    0.8       0.1       0.2  

Interest expense

    (0.6 )     (0.5 )     (0.4 )

Income before income taxes

    4.2 %     2.0 %     2.1 %

 

2017 Compared to 2016

 

For the year ended December 31, 2017, logistics and brokerage services revenues, before fuel surcharges, increased 15.1% to $51.1 million as compared to $44.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2016. The increase was primarily the result of an increase in the number of loads brokered during 2017 as compared to 2016.

 

Salaries, wages and benefits increased from 4.5% of revenues, before fuel surcharges, in 2016 to 4.9% of revenues, before fuel surcharges, in 2017. The increase relates to an increase in wages paid to employees assigned to the logistics and brokerage division during 2017 as compared to 2016 and to an increase in the number of employees assigned to the logistics and brokerage services division.

 

Rent and purchased transportation decreased from 92.5% of revenues, before fuel surcharges, in 2016 to 89.8% of revenues, before fuel surcharges, in 2017. The decrease results from paying third party carriers a smaller percentage of customer revenue.

 

The logistics and brokerage services division operating ratio, which measures the ratio of operating expenses, net of fuel surcharges, to operating revenues, before fuel surcharges, improved to 96.0% for 2017 from 97.6% for 2016.

 

2016 Compared to 2015

 

For the year ended December 31, 2016, logistics and brokerage services revenues, before fuel surcharges, increased 0.6% to $44.4 million as compared to $44.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2015. The increase was primarily the result of an increase in the number of loads brokered during 2016 as compared to 2015. The increase in the number of loads was partially offset by a decrease in the average rates charged to our customers during 2016 as compared to 2015.

 

Salaries, wages and benefits increased from 3.1% of revenues, before fuel surcharges, in 2015 to 4.5% of revenues, before fuel surcharges, in 2016. The increase related to an increase in wages paid to employees assigned to the logistics and brokerage division during 2016 as compared to 2015 and to a lesser extent, to an increase in the number of employees assigned to the logistics and brokerage services division.

 

 

Rent and purchased transportation decreased from 94.0% of revenues, before fuel surcharges, in 2015 to 92.5% of revenues, before fuel surcharges, in 2016. The decrease related to a decrease in the negotiated amounts paid to third party logistics and brokerage service providers.

 

The logistics and brokerage services division operating ratio, which measures the ratio of operating expenses, net of fuel surcharges, to operating revenues, before fuel surcharges, improved to 97.6% for 2016 from 97.7% for 2015.

 

Results of Operations - Combined Services

 

2017 Compared to 2016

 

Income tax benefit was approximately $(24.3) million in 2017 resulting in an effective rate of (165.9%), as compared to an income tax expense of approximately $6.7 million in 2016 resulting in an effective rate of 37.5%.

 

On December 22, 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Act”) was signed into law. The Act includes numerous changes to existing tax law, including a permanent reduction in the federal corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21% effective January 1, 2018 and repeal of the alternative minimum tax (“AMT”) allowing a refund of existing AMT carryovers during the years 2018 through 2021. As a result, the Company recorded a tax benefit of $29.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2017 related to the revaluation of its net deferred tax attributes. In addition, the effective tax rate is also impacted by the existence of partially non-deductible meal and incidental expense per-diem payments to company drivers. Per-diem payments may cause a significant difference in the Company’s effective tax rate from period-to-period as the proportion of non-deductible expenses to pre-tax net income increases or decreases.

   

While we do not anticipate any changes, the ultimate impact of the Act may differ from preliminary conclusions due to changes in interpretations and assumptions made by the Company as well as additional regulatory guidance that may be issued. At this time, the Company believes all preliminary conclusions reported are reasonably estimated but may adjust them over time as more information becomes available. Future adjustments, if any, will be disclosed in its financial statements.

 

In determining whether a tax asset valuation allowance is necessary, management, in accordance with the provisions of Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) 740-10-30, weighs all available evidence, both positive and negative to determine whether, based on the weight of that evidence, a valuation allowance is necessary. If negative conditions exist which indicate a valuation allowance might be necessary, consideration is then given to what effect the future reversals of existing taxable temporary differences and the availability of tax strategies might have on future taxable income to determine the amount, if any, of the required valuation allowance. As of December 31, 2017, management determined that the future reversals of existing taxable temporary differences and available tax strategies would generate sufficient future taxable income to realize its tax assets and therefore a valuation allowance was not necessary.

 

The Company recognizes a tax benefit from an uncertain tax position only if it is more likely than not that the position will be sustained on examination by taxing authorities, based on the technical merits of the position. As of December 31, 2017, an adjustment to the Company’s consolidated financial statements for uncertain tax positions has not been required as management believes that the Company’s tax positions taken in income tax returns filed or to be filed are supported by clear and unambiguous income tax laws. The Company recognizes interest and penalties related to uncertain income tax positions, if any, in income tax expense. During 2017 and 2016, the Company has not recognized or accrued any interest or penalties related to uncertain income tax positions.

 

The Company and its subsidiaries are subject to U.S. and Canadian federal income tax laws as well as the income tax laws of multiple state jurisdictions. The major tax jurisdictions in which we operate generally provide for a deficiency assessment statute of limitation period of three years and as a result, the Company’s tax years 2014 and forward remain open to examination in those jurisdictions.

 

 

The combined net income for all divisions was $38.9 million, or 10.4% of revenues, before fuel surcharge, for 2017 as compared to the combined net income for all divisions of $11.1 million or 2.9% of revenues, before fuel surcharge, for 2016. The increase in net income resulted in an increase in diluted earnings per share to $6.08 for 2017 from a diluted earnings per share of $1.67 for 2016.

 

2016 Compared to 2015

 

Income tax expense was approximately $6.7 million in 2016 resulting in an effective rate of 37.5%, as compared to an income tax expense of approximately $13.5 million in 2015 resulting in an effective rate of 38.6%. The effective tax rate differs from the statutory rate primarily due to the existence of partially non-deductible meal and incidental expense per-diem payments to company drivers. Per-diem payments may cause a significant difference in the Company’s effective tax rate from period-to-period as the proportion of non-deductible expenses to pre-tax net income increases or decreases.

 

As of December 31, 2016, management determined that the future reversals of existing taxable temporary differences and available tax strategies would generate sufficient future taxable income to realize its tax assets and therefore a valuation allowance was not necessary.

 

As of December 31, 2016, an adjustment to the Company’s consolidated financial statements for uncertain tax positions has not been required as management believes that the Company’s tax positions taken in income tax returns filed or to be filed are supported by clear and unambiguous income tax laws. During 2016 and 2015, the Company has not recognized or accrued any interest or penalties related to uncertain income tax positions.

 

The combined net income for all divisions was $11.1 million, or 2.9% of revenues, before fuel surcharge, for 2016 as compared to the combined net income for all divisions of $21.4 million or 6.0% of revenues, before fuel surcharge, for 2015. The decrease in net income resulted in a decrease in diluted earnings per share to $1.67 for 2016 from a diluted earnings per share of $2.93 for 2015.

 

Quarterly Results of Operations

 

The following table presents selected consolidated financial information for each of our last eight fiscal quarters through December 31, 2017. The information has been derived from unaudited consolidated financial statements that, in the opinion of management, reflect all adjustments, consisting of normal recurring adjustments, necessary for a fair presentation of the quarterly information.

 

   

Quarter Ended

 
   

Mar. 31,

2017

   

June 30,

2017

   

Sept. 30,

2017

   

Dec. 31,

2017

   

Mar. 31,

2016

   

June 30,

2016

   

Sept. 30,

2016

   

Dec. 31,

2016

 
   

(unaudited)

 
   

(in thousands, except earnings per share data)

 

Operating revenues

  $ 109,405     $ 108,646     $ 108,899     $ 110,888     $ 103,589     $ 111,516     $ 109,393     $ 108,354  

Total operating expenses

    106,743       105,748       105,131       107,536       98,003       104,162       104,098       106,661  

Operating income

    2,662       2,898       3,768       3,352       5,586       7,354       5,295       1,693  

Net income

    2,283       1,609       3,446       31,561       2,935       3,992       3,451       723  

Income per common share:

                                                               

Basic

  $ 0.36     $ 0.25     $ 0.54     $ 5.07     $ 0.41     $ 0.61     $ 0.54     $ 0.11  

Diluted

  $ 0.36     $ 0.25     $ 0.54     $ 5.00     $ 0.41     $ 0.61     $ 0.53     $ 0.11  

 

Liquidity and Capital Resources

 

Our business has required, and will continue to require, a significant investment in new revenue equipment. Our primary sources of liquidity have been funds provided by operations, proceeds from the sales of revenue equipment, borrowings under our lines of credit, installment notes and investment margin account, and issuances of equity securities.

 

 

During 2017, we generated $50.5 million in cash from operating activities compared to $47.4 million and $61.5 million in 2016 and 2015, respectively. Investing activities used $45.1 million in cash during 2017 compared to $52.8 million and $85.5 in 2016 and 2015, respectively. The cash used for investing activities in all three years related primarily to the purchase of revenue equipment such as trucks and trailers and related equipment such as auxiliary power units. Financing activities used $5.2 million in cash during 2017 compared to providing $5.4 million and using $3.5 million in cash during 2016 and 2015, respectively. See the Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows in Item 8 of this Report.

 

Our primary use of funds is for the purchase of revenue equipment. We typically use installment notes, our existing lines of credit on an interim basis, proceeds from the sale or trade of equipment, and cash flows from operations, to finance capital expenditures and repay long-term debt. During 2017 and 2016, we utilized cash on hand, installment notes, and our lines of credit to finance revenue equipment purchases of approximately $66.8 million and $84.1 million, respectively.

 

Occasionally we finance the acquisition of revenue equipment through installment notes with fixed interest rates and terms ranging from 36 to 60 months. At December 31, 2017, the Company’s subsidiaries had combined outstanding indebtedness under such installment notes of $172.6 million. These installment notes are payable in monthly installments, ranging from 36 monthly installments to 60 monthly installments, at a weighted average interest rate of 2.52%. At December 31, 2016, the Company’s subsidiaries had combined outstanding indebtedness under such installment notes of $165.3 million. These installment notes were payable in monthly installments, ranging from 36 to 60 months at a weighted average interest rate of 2.29%.

 

In order to maintain our truck and trailer fleet count, it is often necessary to purchase replacement units and place them in service before trade units are removed from service. The timing of this process often requires the Company to pay for new units without any reduction in price for trade units. In this situation, the Company later receives payment for the trade units as they are delivered to the equipment vendor and have passed vendor inspection. During the twelve months ended December 31, 2017 and 2016, the Company received approximately $15.7 million and $27.6 million, respectively, for units delivered for trade.

 

During 2017, the Company maintained a $40.0 million revolving line of credit. Amounts outstanding under the line bear interest at LIBOR (determined as of the first day of each month) plus 1.50% (2.86% at December 31, 2017), are secured by our trade accounts receivable and mature on July 1, 2019. At December 31, 2017, outstanding advances on the line were approximately $0.7 million, consisting entirely of letters of credit with availability to borrow $39.3 million.

 

Trade accounts receivable increased from $56.1 million at December 31, 2016 to $59.1 million at December 31, 2017. The increase relates to a general increase in freight revenue and fuel surcharge revenue, which flows through the accounts receivable account, during 2017 as compared to the freight revenue and fuel surcharge revenue generated during 2016.

 

Marketable equity securities at December 31, 2017 decreased approximately $1.0 million as compared to December 31, 2016. The decrease was related to changes in market value of approximately $2.0 million, sales of marketable equity securities with a combined cost basis of approximately $2.1 million, other than temporary write downs and returns of capital of approximately $0.1 million, combined, which were partially offset by purchases of marketable equity securities of approximately $3.2 million. At December 31, 2017, the remaining marketable equity securities have a combined cost basis of approximately $16.6 million and a combined fair market value of approximately $26.7 million. The Company has developed a strategy to invest in securities from which it expects to receive dividends that qualify for favorable tax treatment, as well as appreciate in value. The Company anticipates that increases in the market value of the investments combined with dividend payments will exceed interest rates paid on borrowings for the same period. During 2017, the Company had net unrealized pre-tax gains of approximately $2.6 million and received dividends of approximately $1.0 million. The holding term of these securities depends largely on the general economic environment, the equity markets, borrowing rates, and the Company's cash requirements.

 

 

Revenue equipment, at December 31, 2017, which generally consists of trucks, trailers, and revenue equipment accessories such as Qualcomm™ satellite tracking units and auxiliary power units, increased approximately $20.5 million as compared to December 31, 2016. The increase relates primarily to the replacement of trucks that had been leased under operating leases with new company owned trucks and to a lesser extent, to the replacement of rented trailers with company owned trailers. The increase is also reflective of the higher purchase price of new trucks and trailers compared to the trucks and trailers which are being replaced and sold.

 

Income taxes refundable increased from $0.8 million at December 31, 2016 to $1.5 million at December 31, 2017 as a result of the reclassification of certain tax credits that became refundable due to the passage of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act in December 2017.

 

Accounts payable at December 31, 2017 increased approximately $3.6 million as compared to December 31, 2016. The increase was primarily related to a $2.9 million increase in amounts accrued for fixed asset purchases from $0.1 million at the end of 2016 to $3.0 million at the end of 2017. To a lesser extent the increase was related to a $0.9 million increase in bank overdrafts outstanding, from $3.5 million at December 31, 2016 to $4.4 million at December 31, 2017. Accounts payable accruals can vary significantly at the end of each reporting period depending on the timing of the actual date of payment in relation to the last day of the reporting period.

 

Accrued expenses and other liabilities decreased from $22.3 million at December 31, 2016 to $17.6 million at December 31, 2017. The decrease was primarily related to a decrease of approximately $4.5 million in margin account borrowings.

 

Current maturities of long term-debt and long-term debt fluctuations are reviewed on an aggregate basis as the classification of amounts in each category are typically affected merely by the passage of time. Current maturities of long-term debt and long-term debt, on an aggregate basis, at December 31, 2017, increased approximately $5.4 million as compared to December 31, 2016. The increase was related to additional borrowings received during 2017, net of the principal portion of scheduled installment note payments made during 2017.

 

For 2018, we expect to purchase 725 new trucks and 1,000 new trailers while continuing to sell or trade equipment that has reached the end of its life cycle, which we expect to result in net capital expenditures of approximately $107.1 million. Management believes we will be able to finance our existing needs for working capital over the next twelve months, as well as acquisitions of revenue equipment during such period, with cash balances, cash flows from operations, and borrowings believed to be available from financing sources. We will continue to have significant capital requirements over the long-term, which may require us to incur debt or seek additional equity capital. The availability of additional capital will depend upon prevailing market conditions, the market price of our common stock and several other factors over which we have limited control, as well as our financial condition and results of operations. Nevertheless, based on our anticipated future cash flows and sources of financing that we expect will be available to us, we do not expect that we will experience any significant liquidity constraints in the foreseeable future.

 

 

Contractual Obligations and Commercial Commitments

 

The following table sets forth the Company's contractual obligations and commercial commitments as of December 31, 2017:

 

    Payments due by period  
   

(in thousands)

 
   

 

Total

   

Less than

1 year

   

1 to 3

Years

   

3 to 5

Years

   

More than

5 Years

 
                                         

Long-term debt (1)

  $ 185,350     $ 77,529     $ 97,249     $ 10,572     $ -  

Operating leases (2)

    491       382       103       6       -  

Total

  $ 185,841     $ 77,911     $ 97,352     $ 10,578     $ -  

 

 

(1)

Including interest.

 

(2)

Represents equipment, building, facilities, and drop yard operating leases.

 

Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements

 

At December 31, 2017, the Company operated 56 trucks under operating lease agreements. These lease agreements do not require any residual value guarantees; however, the trucks must meet certain normal wear and tear conditions upon return to lessor at the end of the lease term.

 

The trucks held under operating leases are not carried on our balance sheet and the respective lease payments are reflected in our consolidated statements of operations as a component of the caption “Rents and purchased transportation.” Rent expense related to the trucks under the operating lease agreements totaled approximately $5.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2017. The final 56 trucks operated under these lease agreements were returned or purchased by January 31, 2018.

 

Insurance 

 

The Company maintains certain insurance coverages for physical damage, auto liability, and cargo loss risks as well as other general business risks. This coverage is provided through insurance policies with various insurance carriers which have per occurrence deductibles of up to $12,500. The Company maintains workers’ compensation coverage in Arkansas, Ohio, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Florida with a $500,000 self-insured retention and a $500,000 per occurrence excess policy. The Company has elected to opt out of workers' compensation coverage in Texas and is providing coverage through the P.A.M. Texas Injury Plan. The Company has reserved for estimated losses to pay such claims as well as claims incurred but not yet reported. The Company has not experienced any adverse trends involving differences in claims experienced versus claims estimates for workers’ compensation claims. Letters of credit aggregating approximately $521,000 and certificates of deposit totaling $300,000 are held by banks as security for workers’ compensation claims. The Company self-insures for employee health claims with a stop loss of $325,000 per covered employee per year and estimates its liability for claims incurred but not reported.

 

Inflation

 

Inflation has an impact on most of our operating costs. Over the past three years, the effect of inflation has been minimal.

 

Adoption of Accounting Policies

 

See “Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, Note 1 to the Consolidated Financial Statements - Recent Accounting Pronouncements.”

 

 

Critical Accounting Policies

 

The preparation of financial statements in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America requires management to adopt accounting policies and make significant judgments and estimates that impact the amounts reported in our consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes. Therefore, the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenue, expenses, and associated disclosures of contingent assets and liabilities are affected by judgments and estimates. In many cases, there are alternative assumptions, policies, or estimation techniques that could be used. Management evaluates its assumptions, policies, and estimates on an ongoing basis, utilizing historical experience, and other methods considered reasonable in the particular circumstances. Nevertheless, actual results may differ significantly from our estimates and assumptions, and it is possible that materially different amounts would be reported using differing estimates or assumptions. Management considers our critical accounting policies to be those that require more significant judgments and estimates when we prepare our consolidated financial statements. Our critical accounting policies include the following:

 

Accounts receivable and allowance for doubtful accounts. Accounts receivable are presented in the Company’s consolidated financial statements net of an allowance for estimated uncollectible amounts. Management estimates this allowance based upon an evaluation of the aging of our customer receivables and historical write-offs, as well as other trends and factors surrounding the credit risk of specific customers. The Company continually updates the history it uses to make these estimates so as to reflect the most recent trends, factors and other information available. In order to gather information regarding these trends and factors, the Company also performs ongoing credit evaluations of its customers. Customer receivables are considered to be past due when payment has not been received by the invoice due date. Write-offs occur when we determine an account to be uncollectible and could differ from the allowance estimate as a result of a number of factors, including unanticipated changes in the overall economic environment or factors and risks surrounding a particular customer. Management believes its methodology for estimating the allowance for doubtful accounts to be reliable; however, additional allowances may be required if the financial condition of our customers were to deteriorate and could have a material effect on the Company’s consolidated financial statements.

 

Depreciation of trucks and trailers. Depreciation of trucks and trailers is calculated by the straight-line method over the assets estimated useful life, which range from three to 12 years, down to an estimated salvage value at the end of the assets estimated useful life. Management must use its judgment in the selection of estimated useful lives and salvage values for purposes of this calculation. In some cases, the Company has agreements in place with certain manufacturers whereby salvage values are guaranteed by the manufacturer. In other cases, where salvage values are not guaranteed, estimates of salvage value are based on the expected market values of equipment at the time of disposal.

 

The depreciation of trucks and trailers over their estimated useful lives and the determination of any salvage value also require management to make judgments about future events. Therefore, the Company’s management periodically evaluates whether changes to estimated useful lives or salvage values are necessary to ensure these estimates accurately reflect the economic reality of the assets. This periodic evaluation may result in changes in the estimated lives and/or salvage values used by the Company to depreciate its assets, which can affect the amount of periodic depreciation expense recognized and, ultimately, the gain or loss on the disposal of an asset. Future changes in our estimated useful life or salvage value estimates, or fluctuations in market value that are not reflected in current estimates, could have a material effect on the Company’s consolidated financial statements.

 

Impairment of long-lived assets. Long-lived assets are reviewed for impairment in accordance with ASC Topic 360, “Property, Plant, and Equipment.” This authoritative guidance provides that whenever there are certain significant events or changes in circumstances the value of long-lived assets or groups of assets must be tested to determine if their value can be recovered from their future cash flows. In the event that undiscounted cash flows expected to be generated by the asset are less than the carrying amount, the asset or group of assets must be evaluated for impairment. Impairment exists if the carrying value of the asset exceeds its fair value.

 

 

Significantly all of the Company’s cash flows from operations are generated by trucks and trailers, and as such, the cost of other long-lived assets are funded by those operations. Therefore, management tests for the recoverability of all of the Company’s long-lived assets as a single group at the entity level and examines the forecasted future cash flows generated by trucks and trailers, including their eventual disposition, to determine if those cash flows exceed the carrying value of the long-lived assets. Forecasted cash flows are estimated using assumptions about future operations. To the extent that facts and circumstances change in the future, our estimates of future cash flows may also change either positively or negatively. In light of the Company’s market capitalization during 2017 and net operating profits of the Company for the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016, no impairment indicators existed which required management to test the Company’s long-lived assets for recoverability as of December 31, 2017. As such, no impairment losses were recorded during 2017.

 

Claims accruals. The Company is self-insured for health and workers' compensation benefits up to certain stop-loss limits. Such costs are accrued based on known claims and an estimate of incurred but not reported (IBNR) claims. IBNR claims are estimated using historical lag information and other data either provided by outside claims administrators or developed internally. Actual claims payments may differ from management’s estimates as a result of a number of factors, including evaluation of severity, increases in legal or medical costs, and other case-specific factors. The actual claims payments are charged against the Company’s recorded accrued claims liabilities and have been reasonable with respect to the estimates of the liabilities made under the Company’s methodology. However, the estimation process is generally subjective, and to the extent that future actual results materially differ from original estimates made by management, adjustments to recorded accruals may be necessary which could have a material effect on the Company’s consolidated financial statements. Based upon our 2017 health and workers' compensation expenses, a 10% increase in both claims incurred and IBNR claims, would increase our annual health and workers' compensation expenses by approximately $0.8 million.

 

Revenue recognition. Revenue is recognized in full upon completion of delivery to the receiver's location. For freight in transit at the end of a reporting period, the Company recognizes revenue pro rata based on relative transit time completed as a portion of the estimated total transit time. Expenses are recognized as incurred.

 

Income Taxes. The Company’s deferred tax assets and liabilities represent items that will result in taxable income or a tax deduction in future years for which the Company has already recorded the related tax expense or benefit in its consolidated statements of operations. Deferred tax accounts arise as a result of timing differences between when items are recognized in the Company’s consolidated financial statements compared to when they are recognized in the Company’s tax returns. In establishing the Company’s deferred income tax assets and liabilities, management makes judgments and interpretations based on the enacted tax laws and published tax guidance that are applicable to its operations. Deferred income tax assets and liabilities are measured using enacted tax rates expected to apply to taxable income in the years in which those temporary differences are expected to be recovered or settled.

 

In determining whether a tax asset valuation allowance is necessary, management, in accordance with the provisions of ASC 740-10-30, weighs all available evidence, both positive and negative to determine whether, based on the weight of that evidence, a valuation allowance is necessary. If negative conditions exist which indicate a valuation allowance might be necessary, consideration is then given to what effect the future reversals of existing taxable temporary differences and the availability of tax strategies might have on future taxable income to determine the amount, if any, of the required valuation allowance. Significant management judgment is required as it relates to future taxable income, future capital gains, tax settlements, valuation allowances, and the Company’s ability to utilize tax loss and credit carryforwards. As of December 31, 2017, management determined that the future reversals of existing taxable temporary differences and available tax strategies would generate sufficient future taxable income to realize its tax assets and therefore a valuation allowance was not necessary.

 

Management believes that future tax consequences have been adequately provided for based on the current facts and circumstances and current tax law. However, should current circumstances change or the Company’s tax positions be challenged, different outcomes could result which could have a material effect on the Company’s consolidated financial statements.

 

 

Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk.

 

Our primary market risk exposures include equity price risk, interest rate risk, commodity price risk (the price paid to obtain diesel fuel for our trucks), and foreign currency exchange rate risk. The potential adverse impact of these risks are discussed below.

 

The following sensitivity analyses do not consider the effects that an adverse change may have on the overall economy nor do they consider additional actions we may take to mitigate our exposure to such changes. Actual results of changes in prices or rates may differ materially from the hypothetical results described below.

 

 

Equity Price Risk

 

We hold certain actively traded marketable equity securities which subjects the Company to fluctuations in the fair market value of its investment portfolio based on current market price. The recorded value of marketable equity securities decreased to $26.6 million at December 31, 2017 from $27.6 million at December 31, 2016. The decrease was related to changes in market value of approximately $2.0 million, sales of marketable equity securities with a combined cost basis of approximately $2.1 million, other than temporary write downs and returns of capital of approximately $0.1 million, combined, which were partially offset by purchases of marketable equity securities of approximately $3.2 million. A 10% decrease in the market price of our marketable equity securities would cause a corresponding 10% decrease in the carrying amounts of these securities, or approximately $2.7 million. For additional information with respect to the marketable equity securities, see Note 3 to our consolidated financial statements.

 

Interest Rate Risk

 

Our line of credit bears interest at a floating rate equal to LIBOR plus a fixed percentage. Accordingly, changes in LIBOR, which are affected by changes in interest rates, will affect the interest rate on, and therefore our costs under, the line of credit. Assuming $1.0 million of variable rate debt was outstanding under our line of credit for a full fiscal year; a hypothetical 100 basis point increase in LIBOR would result in approximately $10,000 of additional interest expense.

 

Commodity Price Risk

 

Prices and availability of all petroleum products are subject to political, economic and market factors that are generally outside of our control. Accordingly, the price and availability of diesel fuel, as well as other petroleum products, can be unpredictable. Because our operations are dependent upon diesel fuel, significant increases in diesel fuel costs could materially and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition. Based upon our 2017 fuel consumption, a 10% increase in the average annual price per gallon of diesel fuel would increase our annual fuel expenses by approximately $4.1 million.

 

Foreign Currency Exchange Rate Risk

 

We are exposed to foreign currency exchange rate risk related to the activities of our branch office located in Mexico. Currently, we do not hedge our exchange rate exposure through any currency forward contracts, currency options, or currency swaps as all of our revenues, and substantially all of our expenses and capital expenditures, are transacted in U.S. dollars. However, certain operating expenditures and capital purchases related to our Mexico branch office are incurred within or exposed to fluctuations in the exchange rate between the U.S. Dollar and the Mexican peso. Based on 2017 expenditures denominated in pesos, a 10% decrease in the exchange rate would increase our annual operating expenses by approximately $57,000.

 

 

Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.

 

The following statements are filed with this report:

 

Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm – Grant Thornton LLP

Consolidated Balance Sheets - December 31, 2017 and 2016

Consolidated Statements of Operations - Years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015

Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income - Years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015

Consolidated Statements of Stockholders’ Equity - Years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015

Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows - Years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015

Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements

 

 

REPORT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

 

 

 

 

Board of Directors and Stockholders

P.A.M. Transportation Services, Inc.

 

Opinion on the financial statements

We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets of P.A.M. Transportation Services, Inc. (a Delaware corporation) and subsidiaries (the “Company”) as of December 31, 2017 and 2016, the related consolidated statements of operations, comprehensive income, stockholders’ equity, and cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2017, and the related notes (collectively referred to as the “financial statements”). In our opinion, the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company as of December 31, 2017 and 2016, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2017, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.

 

We also have audited, in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (“PCAOB”), the Company’s internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2017, based on criteria established in the 2013 Internal Control—Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (“COSO”), and our report dated March 09, 2018 expressed an unqualified opinion.

 

Basis for opinion

These financial statements are the responsibility of the Company’s management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company’s financial statements based on our audits. We are a public accounting firm registered with the PCAOB and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.

 

We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement, whether due to error or fraud. Our audits included performing procedures to assess the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to error or fraud, and performing procedures that respond to those risks. Such procedures included examining, on a test basis, evidence supporting the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. Our audits also included evaluating the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statements. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.

 

/s/ GRANT THORNTON LLP

 

We have served as the Company’s auditor since 2005.

 

Tulsa, Oklahoma

March 09, 2018

 

 

 

P.A.M. TRANSPORTATION SERVICES, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

 

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

DECEMBER 31, 2017 AND 2016

(in thousands, except share and per share data)

 

 

 

2017

   

2016

 
ASSETS                
                 

CURRENT ASSETS:

               

Cash and cash equivalents

  $ 224     $ 137  

Accounts receivablenet:

               

Trade, less allowance of $1,335 and $994, respectively

    59,055       56,143  

Other

    3,028       4,982  

Inventories

    1,660       1,900  

Prepaid expenses and deposits

    10,112       8,777  

Marketable equity securities

    26,664       27,621  

Income taxes refundable

    1,499       738  
                 

Total current assets

    102,242       100,298  
                 

PROPERTY AND EQUIPMENT:

               

Land

    5,374       5,374  

Structures and improvements

    18,927       18,861  

Revenue equipment

    375,817       355,339  

Office furniture and equipment

    9,761       10,402  
                 

Total property and equipment

    409,879       389,976  
                 

Accumulated depreciation

    (122,935 )     (112,600 )
                 

Net property and equipment

    286,944       277,376  
                 

OTHER ASSETS

    2,999       2,392  
                 

TOTAL ASSETS

  $ 392,185     $ 380,066  

 

(Continued)

 

See notes to consolidated financial statements.

 

 

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

DECEMBER 31, 2017 AND 2016

(in thousands, except share and per share data)

 

LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY  

2017

   

2016

 
                 

CURRENT LIABILITIES:

               

Accounts payable

  $ 19,645     $ 16,088  

Accrued expenses and other liabilities

    17,609       22,330  

Current maturities of long-term debt

    73,641       42,806  
                 

Total current liabilities

    110,895       81,224  
                 

Long-term debtless current portion

    98,995       124,391  

Deferred income taxes

    54,691       80,293  
                 

Total liabilities

    264,581       285,908  
                 

COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES (Note 15)

               
                 

STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY

               

Preferred stock, $.01 par value, 10,000,000 shares authorized; none issued

    -       -  

Common stock, $.01 par value, 40,000,000 shares  authorized; 11,529,124 and 11,510,863 shares issued; 6,160,889 and 6,396,803 shares outstanding at December 31, 2017 and December 31, 2016, respectively

    115       115  

Additional paid-in capital

    81,559       80,822  

Accumulated other comprehensive income

    7,444       7,476  

Treasury stock, at cost; 5,368,235 and 5,114,060 shares at December 31, 2017 and December 31, 2016, respectively

    (129,183 )     (122,835 )

Retained earnings

    167,669       128,580  
                 

Total stockholders’ equity

    127,604       94,158  
                 

TOTAL LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY

  $ 392,185     $ 380,066  

 

(Continued)

 

See notes to consolidated financial statements.

 

 

 

P.A.M. TRANSPORTATION SERVICES, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

 

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS

YEARS ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2017, 2016 AND 2015

(in thousands, except per share data)

 

   

2017

   

2016

   

2015

 

OPERATING REVENUES:

                       

Revenue, before fuel surcharge

  $ 373,523     $ 382,737     $ 355,403  

Fuel surcharge

    64,315       50,115       61,647  
                         

Total operating revenues

    437,838       432,852       417,050  
                         

OPERATING EXPENSES AND COSTS:

                       

Salaries, wages and benefits

    102,227       112,235       105,943  

Operating supplies and expenses

    79,505       82,993       89,878  

Rents and purchased transportation

    174,477       158,298       134,188  

Depreciation

    42,274       39,114       32,346  

Insurance and claims

    17,484       16,632       15,315  

Other

    9,249       8,352       8,904  

Gain on disposition of equipment

    (58 )     (4,700 )     (5,754 )
                         

Total operating expenses and costs

    425,158       412,924       380,820  
                         

OPERATING INCOME

    12,680       19,928       36,230  
                         

NON-OPERATING INCOME

    5,853       1,485       1,516  

INTEREST EXPENSE

    (3,902 )     (3,641 )     (2,818 )
                         

INCOME BEFORE INCOME TAXES

    14,631       17,772       34,928  
                         

FEDERAL & STATE INCOME TAX EXPENSE (BENEFIT):

                       

Current

    362       13       591  

Deferred

    (24,630 )     6,658       12,901  
                         

Total federal & state income tax (benefit) expense 

    (24,268 )     6,671       13,492  
                         

NET INCOME

  $ 38,899     $ 11,101     $ 21,436  
                         

EARNINGS PER COMMON SHARE:

                       

Basic

  $ 6.14     $ 1.68     $ 2.94  

Diluted

  $ 6.08     $ 1.67     $ 2.93  
                         

AVERAGE COMMON SHARES OUTSTANDING:

                       

Basic

    6,331       6,627       7,288  

Diluted

    6,398       6,649       7,325  

 

 

See notes to consolidated financial statements.

 

 

 

P.A.M. TRANSPORTATION SERVICES, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

 

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME

YEARS ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2017, 2016 AND 2015

(in thousands)

 

   

2017

   

2016

   

2015

 
                         

NET INCOME

  $ 38,899     $ 11,101     $ 21,436  
                         

Other comprehensive income (loss), net of tax:

                       
                         

Reclassification adjustment for realized gains on marketable securities included in net income (1)

    (2,059 )     (543 )     (646 )
                         

Reclassification adjustment for unrealized losses on marketable securities included in net income (2)

    26       440       516  
                         

Changes in fair value of marketable securities (3)

    2,001       2,269       (962 )
                         

COMPREHENSIVE INCOME

  $ 38,867     $ 13,267     $ 20,344  

 

_______________

(1) Net of deferred income taxes of $(1,326), $(333), and $(396), respectively.

(2) Net of deferred income taxes of $16, $269, and $316, respectively.

(3) Net of deferred income taxes of $(687), $1,390, and $(588), respectively.

 

 

See notes to consolidated financial statements.

 

 

 

P.A.M. TRANSPORTATION SERVICES, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

 

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY

YEARS ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2017, 2016 AND 2015

(in thousands, except per share data)

    Common Stock     Additional Paid-In     Accumulated Other Comprehensive     Treasury     Retained          
   

Shares / Amount

   

Capital

   

Income

   

Stock

   

Earnings

   

Total

 
                                                         

BALANCE January 1, 2015

    7,423     $ 115     $ 79,926     $ 6,402     $ (82,501 )   $ 96,043     $ 99,985  
                                                         

Net income

                                            21,436       21,436  

Other comprehensive (loss), net of tax of $(668)

                            (1,092 )                     (1,092 )

Exercise of stock options-shares issued including tax benefits

    21               236                               236  

Restricted stock issued

    3                                               -  

Treasury stock repurchases

    (330 )                             (19,278 )             (19,278 )

Share-based compensation

                    267                               267  
                                                         

BALANCE December 31, 2015

    7,117       115       80,429       5,310       (101,779 )     117,479       101,554  
                                                         

Net income

                                            11,101       11,101  

Other comprehensive income, net of tax of $1,326

                            2,166                       2,166  

Exercise of stock options-shares issued including tax benefits

    8               91                               91  

Restricted stock issued

    5                                                  

Treasury stock repurchases

    (733 )                             (21,056 )             (21,056 )

Share-based compensation

                    302                               302  
                                                         

BALANCE December 31, 2016

    6,397       115       80,822       7,476       (122,835 )     128,580       94,158  
                                                         

Net income

                                            38,899       38,899  

Other comprehensive (loss), net of tax of $1,995

                            (32 )                     (32 )

Exercise of stock options-shares issued including tax benefits

    11               123                               123  

Restricted stock issued

    7                                                  

Treasury stock repurchases

    (254 )                             (6,348 )             (6,348 )

Share-based compensation

                    614                               614  

Cumulative effect adjustment – ASU 2016-09

                                            190       190  
                                                         

BALANCE December 31, 2017

    6,161     $ 115     $ 81,559     $ 7,444     $ (129,183 )   $ 167,669     $ 127,604  

 

 

See notes to consolidated financial statements.

 

 

 

P.A.M. TRANSPORTATION SERVICES, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

 

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS

YEARS ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2017, 2016 AND 2015

(in thousands)

 
   

2017

   

2016

   

2015

 

OPERATING ACTIVITIES:

                       

Net income

  $ 38,899     $ 11,101     $ 21,436  

Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating activities:

                       

Depreciation

    42,274       39,114       32,346  

Bad debt expense

    340       445       151  

Stock compensation—net of excess tax benefits

    614       302       267  

Sale leaseback deferred gain amortization

    0       (131 )     (224 )

(Benefit) provision for deferred income taxes

    (24,630 )     6,658       12,901  

Reclassification of other than temporary impairment in marketable equity securities

    42       709       833  

Recognized gain on marketable equity securities

    (4,735 )     (1,003 )     (1,001 )

Gain on sale or disposal of equipment

    (58 )     (4,700 )     (5,754 )

Changes in operating assets and liabilities:

                       

Accounts receivable

    (1,436 )     (6,725 )     1,128  

Prepaid expenses, deposits, inventories, and other assets

    (1,095 )     (685 )     1,470  

Income taxes refundable

    (155 )     2,127       (2,358 )

Trade accounts payable

    682       3,231       886  

Accrued expenses and other liabilities

    (266 )     (3,041 )     (556 )

Net cash provided by operating activities

    50,476       47,402       61,525  
                         

INVESTING ACTIVITIES:

                       

Purchases of property and equipment

    (67,674 )     (86,128 )     (125,720 )

Proceeds from disposition of equipment

    18,766       32,256       33,472  

Changes in restricted cash

    138       317       8,012  

Sales of marketable equity securities

    6,833       1,550       1,500  

Purchases of marketable equity securities, net of return of capital

    (3,211 )     (810 )     (2,769 )

Net cash used in investing activities

    (45,148 )     (52,815 )     (85,505 )
                         

FINANCING ACTIVITIES:

                       

Borrowings under line of credit

    483,297       520,089       549,955  

Repayments under line of credit

    (485,163 )     (528,200 )     (539,979 )

Borrowings of long-term debt

    55,415       83,517       88,018  

Repayments of long-term debt

    (48,110 )     (47,457 )     (53,947 )

Borrowings under margin account

    3,412       1,078       3,005  

Repayments under margin account

    (7,867 )     (2,669 )     (2,779 )

Repurchases of common stock

    (6,348 )     (21,056 )     (48,021 )

Exercise of stock options

    123       91       236  

Net cash (used in) provided by financing activities

    (5,241 )     5,393       (3,512 )
                         

NET INCREASE (DECREASE) IN CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS 

    87       (20 )     (27,492 )
                         

CASH, CASH EQUIVALENTS—Beginning of year

    137       157       27,649  

CASH, CASH EQUIVALENTS—End of year

  $ 224     $ 137     $ 157  
                         

SUPPLEMENTAL DISCLOSURES OF CASH FLOW INFORMATION

                       

Cash paid during the period for:

                       

Interest

  $ 3,905     $ 3,597     $ 2,821  

Income taxes

  $ 518     $ 286     $ 2,950  
                         

NONCASH INVESTING AND FINANCING ACTIVITIES

                       

Purchases of revenue equipment included in accounts payable

  $ 2,973     $ 97     $ 5,031  

 

See notes to consolidated financial statements.

 

 

P.A.M. TransportATION SERVICES, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

 

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

YEARS ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2017, 2016 AND 2015