Covenant Transport’s total revenue up 4.4% for 4Q

Covenant Transport, Inc. announced that total revenue increased 4.4%, to $186.3 million from $178.4 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2006.

Freight revenue, which excludes fuel surcharges, increased 7.3% to $159.3 million from $148.4 million in the 2005 quarter. The company measures freight revenue because management believes that fuel surcharges tend to be a volatile source of revenue and the removal of such surcharges affords a more consistent basis for comparing results of operations from period to period. The company reported a net loss of $894,000 or ($.06) per share, compared to net income of $4 million, or $.28 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2005.

For the year ended December 31, total revenue increased 6.3%, to $683.8 million from $643.1 million during 2005. Freight revenue increased 3%, to $572.2 million in 2006 from $555.4 million in 2005. The company generated a net loss of $1.4 million, or ($.10) per share, compared with net income of $5.2 million, or $.37 per share for 2005.

Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer David R. Parker made the following comments: "As we said in our preannouncement, the main factor affecting the quarter was the lack of the normal peak shipping season. Demand during the quarter was much less than expected, especially when compared to the strong fourth quarter of 2005. From an operating standpoint, average miles per tractor decreased 2.5% versus the fourth quarter of 2005. Even though our rate per loaded mile was up 1.6% versus the third quarter of 2006, pricing for spot market and surge business was not as robust as in the past, and our rates were down 1.0% versus the fourth quarter of 2005. The combination of lower rates and utilization produced a 4.0% reduction in average freight revenue per tractor per week.”

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