J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc., announced fourth quarter 2016 net earnings of $117.6 million, or diluted earnings per share of $1.05 vs. fourth quarter 2015 net earnings of $116.7 million, or $1.01 per diluted share. Fourth quarter 2016 net earnings included a one-time after tax benefit of $9.5 million or $0.08 per diluted share for a change in the company’s paid time off policy.
Total operating revenue for the current quarter was $1.72 billion, compared with $1.62 billion for the fourth quarter 2015. Load growth of 5% in Intermodal (JBI) was the primary reason for a 3% increase in segment revenue.
Dedicated Contract Services (DCS) segment revenue increased by 8%, primarily from the addition of new customer accounts, rate increases implemented in the current and earlier periods and improved asset utilization. Integrated Capacity Solutions (ICS) segment revenue increased by 22% primarily from a 38% increase in load growth. Truck (JBT) segment revenue decreased 3% primarily from customer rate per mile decreases. Current quarter total operating revenue, excluding fuel surcharges, increased 6% vs. the comparable quarter 2015.
Operating income for the current quarter increased to $194.4 million vs. $192.9 million for the fourth quarter 2015. The increase primarily reflects higher revenue in JBI, DCS and ICS business segments and a $15.2 million pre-tax, one-time benefit recorded to reflect a change in employee paid time off policy.
Net earnings increased to $117.6 million in the current quarter from $116.7 million in 2015, due to the increased revenue, the paid time off policy change benefit and a lower effective income tax rate.