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USA truck posts 1Q profit of $1.1 million.

USA Truck Inc. of Van Buren on Tuesday reported first-quarter net income of $1.1 million, up from a $1.6 million loss in the same quarter last year.

Earnings per shares rose to 11 cents from a loss of 15 cents last year. Quarterly revenue was $132.9 million, down nearly 9 percent from $145.5 million last year.

It was the first time since 2007 that the company reported positive first-quarter EPS. USA Truck reported $6 million in profits in 2014, its first profitable year since 2008.

USA Truck's turnaround has come underthe leadership of CEO John Simone, who took a medical leave of absence in March for a "serious medical condition." Bob Peiser, the chairman of the board of directors, said in a conference call that the company would not answer any questions relating to Simone's condition out of respect for his privacy.

USA Truk named Thomas Glaser, a member of the board of directors,as the company's interim chief operating officer in Simone's absence.

"We extended our track record to 10 consecutive quarters of year-over-year financial improvement and turned in a profitable first quarter for the first time since 2007," Glaser said in a news release. "This quarter's results reflect positive contributions from both our Trucking segment and our SCS segment, once again demonstrating the benefits of USA Truck's integrated service offerings."

Glaser said the company spent $5.5 million in the first quarter of 2015 in capital improvements, with a total of $65 million in improvements planned for the year. USA Truck wants to buy 400 new tractors this year and at least 1,200 new trailers.

USA Truck executives also said the company will raise driver pay June 1 and, while an exact percentage of the raise was hard to determine, it was expected to be in double digits. Approximately two-thirds of USA Truck drivers are experienced drivers, who receive a different pay range than beginning drivers.

Caption: Thomas Glaser

Caption: USA Truck CEO John Simone. [SUBMITTED PHOTO]

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Title Annotation:Transportation
Author:Cook, Marty
Publication:Arkansas Business
Article Type:Financial report
Date:May 11, 2015
Words:334
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