Out of Lowell, Ark., J.B. Hunt Transport Services (JBHT), a national trucking company, announced its second quarter earnings after the market closed Monday, and some of the numbers were positive – though the overall impression so far by the Street has been mixed, at best. J.B. Hunt announced earnings per share at 67 cents, which beat estimates by 1 cent. However, overall revenue of $1.26 billion – while up 10 percent over the same period a year ago – missed estimates by $40 million (or 3 percent).
The company announced overall operating income at $137 million, which was a 21 percent year-over-year increase. The EPS in this year’s Q2 was 14 cents, or 26 percent, better than last year’s Q2 EPS of 53 cents per share. Load growth in a couple of segments drove much of the revenue increase from a year ago, as a 13 percent jump in loads in the company’s intermodal segment and 16 percent in its Integrated Capacity Solutions segments sent those revenues up 13 and 23 percent.
Despite the encouraging numbers, JBHT stock fell nearly 2 percent after the close Monday, and was off about 1.3 percent in the early moments Tuesday, to $58.33 per share.
While the news seems positive, the dropping share price translates the news into a mixed bag for hedge funds like Jeffrey Vinik’s Vinik Asset Management and Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group, though they may not be surprised. After all, Vinik was invested at $42 million in JBHT at the end of March, but sold off 63 percent of its stake during the quarter; and Citadel had nearly #30 million invested after shedding nearly half of its shares. However, Bruce Kovner’s Caxton Associates LP jumped in with a $17 million investment by the end of Q1, and Israel Englander’s Millennium Management increased its stake by nearly 400 percent to about $14.5 million by the end of the quarter. Who knows what the others don’t know? Maybe only time tells.