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Frozen Food Express Industries, Inc. Announces Fourth Quarter and 2012 Financial Results

Frozen Food Express Industries, Inc. Announces Fourth Quarter and 2012
Financial Results

Reduces Operating Loss by $25 Million in 2012 Versus 2011

DALLAS, March 19, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Frozen Food Express Industries,
Inc. (Nasdaq:FFEX) today announced its financial and operating results for the
quarter and year ended December 31, 2012. Highlights for the year include:

  *4Q12 total operating revenue, net of fuel surcharges, was $78.4 million, a
    5.6% increase versus 4Q11.
  *2012 total operating revenue, net of fuel surcharges, was $301.5 million,
    a 2% decrease versus 2011.
  *4Q12 operating loss of $4.4 million compared to a loss of $12.2 million in
    the same period of 2011.
  *2012 operating loss of $13.4 million, a $24.9 million improvement versus
    2011.
  *2012 net loss per share of diluted common stock was ($0.84), compared to a
    net loss per diluted common share of ($2.08) in the same period of 2011.
  *As of December 31, 2012, shareholders' equity was $28.3 million, or $1.60
    per share.
  *As of December 31, 2012, borrowing availability was $14.6 million

Revenue (in $ millions) from:                      %                   %
                                         4Q12 4Q11 Change  2012  2011  Change
Total Truckload ("TL")                   38.3 36.9 3.8%    146.9 173.8 (15.4%)
Less-than-truckload ("LTL")              34.0 26.1 30.1%   127.9 112.0 14.2%
Brokerage, Logistics and Equipment       6.1  11.2 (45.9%) 26.7  22.0  21.3%
Rental
Operating Revenue (Excluding Fuel        78.4 74.2 5.6%    301.5 307.8 (2.0%)
Surcharges)
Fuel Surcharges                          20.1 18.0 11.6%   76.2  80.7  (5.5%)
Total Operating Revenue                  98.5 92.2 6.8%    377.7 388.5 (2.8%)

"During 2012, we reduced our operating loss by approximately $25 million, but
just as important, with fourth quarter revenue growth of 6.8%, have put the
top line back on a modest growth trajectory with our first quarter of year
over year revenue growth in 2012," said Russell Stubbs, President and Chief
Executive Officer of the Company. "We began 2012 with 147 less trucks in
service than we began 2011, due in part to the 225 plus units we sold in the
fourth quarter of 2011 while exiting our dry van services. This reduction in
trucks caused us to average 220 fewer trucks, per week, in service in 2012
versus 2011, which prevented us from attaining year over year revenue growth
in the first three quarters of 2012. With the dedication of our employees,
support of our customers and the growth in drivers attained through our Driver
Academy and retention programs, we were able to add back 151 trucks to our
fleet in 2012. This was reflected in us achieving year over year revenue
improvement in the fourth quarter. While we still have progress to make, we
have successfully repositioned our Company, and I am confident that we have
the right plan in place to restore the Company to profitability during 2013
and restore more meaningful profitability in the years to come."

Strategic Plan Update

Improve operating efficiencies — The year-over-year decrease in operating
expenses was primarily related to strategic decisions implemented during 2011
to exit less profitable services, refresh the average age of the fleet and
increase operating efficiencies. These actions removed a line of lower margin
services from our revenue mix, which was the primary reason for the 15.4%
decrease in truckload revenue during 2012. These strategic actions also
resulted in a 12.6% decrease in the average number of trucks in service and a
reduction in the average tractor age from 2.2 years to 1.7 years. Despite a
3.9% increase in fuel prices, fewer but more fuel-efficient trucks in service
led to a 17.4% decrease in gallons used and a $13.2 million, or 14.2%,
decrease in fuel costs. Supplies and maintenance costs decreased $3.4 million,
or 6.0%, to $53.0 million.

Reinvest in growth businesses — The Company began providing bulk tank water
transportation and other services for the crude oil drilling industry during
the fourth quarter of 2011. Due to the 24/7 nature of drilling operations,
equipment utilization rates are very high and present attractive return
characteristics.Contribution from water transport services was the major
contributor for the 20.4% increase in brokerage and logistics services revenue
during 2012."As expected, contribution from our water transport business has
proven to be somewhat volatile and difficult to track on a quarterly basis,"
said Mr. Stubbs."However, on an annual basis we are satisfied with the return
we are achieving from this investment."

Improve yields in core temperature controlled business – In addition to
repositioning the service mix, the Company took several proactive steps to
improve yields, including enhancing its inside sales efforts, securing new
national accounts, and exiting less profitable lanes.Overall market
conditions also improved in the Company's core refrigerated truckload (TL) and
less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping markets, contributing to a year-over-year
increase in yields."As a result of our actions and more favorable market
conditions, the productivity of our fleet, as measured by revenue per truck
per week, improved by nearly ten percentage points during 2012," commented Mr.
Stubbs."Of particular importance, the growth in our LTL business accelerated
in the second half of the year, as customers increasingly recognized our
differentiated value proposition of being the only asset based national temp
controlled LTL network in existence in the US marketplace."

For the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2012, total operating revenue
increased 6.8%, or $6.3 million, to $98.5 million compared to $92.2 million in
the same period of 2011. Total operating revenue, excluding fuel surcharges,
increased 5.6% to $78.4 million from $74.2 million during the same period a
year ago.During the fourth quarter of 2012, total operating expenses
decreased $1.5 million, or 1.5%, to $102.9 million compared to $104.4 million
during the fourth quarter of 2011, which yielded an operating ratio of 104.5%
compared to a 113.2% for the same period in 2011.

For the year ended December 31, 2012, total operating revenue decreased 2.8%,
or $10.7 million, to $377.7 million compared to $388.5 million in the same
period of 2011. Total operating revenue, excluding fuel surcharges, decreased
2.0% to $301.5 million from $307.8 million during the same period a year
ago.During 2012, total operating expenses decreased $35.6 million, or 8.3%,
to $391.1 million compared to $426.7 million during 2011, which yielded an
operating ratio of 103.5% compared to a 109.8% for 2011.During the first
quarter of 2013, the Company sold its 19.9% equity interest in W&B Service
Company for $3.2 million which resulted in a gain of $1.6 million, which will
be recognized in the first quarter of 2013.

About FFEX

Frozen Food Express Industries, Inc. is one of the leading
temperature-controlled truckload and less-than-truckload carriers in the
United States with core operations in the transport of temperature-controlled
products and perishable goods including food, health care and confectionery
products. Service is offered in over-the-road and intermodal modes for
temperature-controlled truckload and less-than-truckload, as well as dry
truckload on a non-dedicated fleet basis. The Company also provides bulk tank
water transportation, brokerage/logistics and dedicated services to our
customers. Additional information about Frozen Food Express Industries, Inc.
can be found at http://www.ffeinc.com. To join the email alert list, please
click on the following link: http://financials.ffex.net/alerts.cfm. The
Company's common stock is traded on the Nasdaq Global Select market under the
symbol FFEX.

The Frozen Food Express Industries, Inc. logo is available at
http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=3209

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains certain statements that may be considered
forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities
Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements include statements relating to
plans, strategies, objectives, expectations, intentions, and adequacy of
resources, and may be identified by words such as "will", "could", "should",
"believe", "expect", "intend", "plan", "schedule", "estimate", "project", and
similar expressions. Those statements are based on current expectations and
are subject to uncertainty and change. Although our management believes that
the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable,
there can be no assurance that such expectations will be realized. Should one
or more of the risks or uncertainties underlying such expectations not
materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results
may vary materially from those expected. Among the key factors that are not
within our management's control and that may cause actual results to differ
materially from those projected in such forward-looking statements are demand
for the Company's services and products, and its ability to meet that demand,
which may be affected by, among other things, competition, weather conditions
and the general economy, the availability and cost of labor and
owner-operators, the ability to negotiate favorably with lenders and lessors,
the continued growth of hydraulic fracturing techniques for oil and gas
drilling in West Texas, the effects of terrorism and war, the availability and
cost of equipment, fuel and supplies, the market for previously-owned
equipment, the impact of changes in the tax and regulatory environment in
which the company operates, operational risks and insurance, risks associated
with the technologies and systems used and the other risks and uncertainties
described in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Given
the volatility in fuel prices and the impact fuel surcharge revenues have on
total operating revenues, we often make reference to total operating revenue
excluding fuel surcharges to provide a more consistent basis for comparison of
operating revenue without the impact of fluctuating fuel prices. Readers
should review and consider these factors along with the various disclosures by
the Company in its press releases, stockholder reports and filings with the
Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company does not assume, and
specifically disclaims, any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking
statements to reflect actual results or changes in the factors affecting the
forward-looking information.

Frozen Food Express Industries, Inc. and Subsidiaries
Consolidated Balance Sheets
December 31,
(in thousands)
                                                                  
Assets                                                   2012       2011
Current assets                                                     
Cash and cash equivalents                                $2,907   $1,048
Accounts receivable, net                                 40,069     43,450
Tires on equipment in use, net                           8,176      5,968
Equipment held for sale                                 832        3,437
Other current assets                                     7,840      7,868
Total current assets                                     59,824     61,771
                                                                  
Property and equipment, net                              54,680     57,757
Deferred income taxes                                    3,039      1,009
Other assets                                             6,096      5,867
Total assets                                             $123,639 $126,404
                                                                  
Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity                               
Current liabilities                                                
Accounts payable                                         $26,178  $30,339
Insurance and claims accruals                            10,033     10,667
Accrued payroll and deferred compensation                3,951      4,047
Accrued liabilities                                      1,429      1,251
Current maturities of notes payable and capital lease    3,040      1,936
obligations
Deferred income taxes                                    2,727      690
Total current liabilities                                47,358     48,930
                                                                  
Long-term debt                                           26,215     19,888
Long-term notes payable and capital lease obligations    16,891     8,901
Insurance and claims accruals                            4,904      5,783
Total liabilities                                        95,368     83,502
                                                                  
Shareholders' equity                                               
Common stock,$1.50 par value per share; 75,000 shares   27,858     27,858
authorized; 18,572 shares issued
Additional paid-in capital                               1,165      427
Accumulated other comprehensive loss                    (79)       (67)
Retained earnings                                       6,516      21,572
Total common shareholders' equity                       35,460     49,790
Treasury stock (1,026 and 980 shares), at cost           (7,189)    (6,888)
Total shareholders' equity                               28,271     42,902
Total liabilities and shareholders' equity               $123,639 $126,404


FROZEN FOOD EXPRESS INDUSTRIES, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Consolidated Statements of Operations
For the Three and Twelve Months Ended December 31,
                                                             
                             (in thousands, except per-share amounts)       
                             Three Months           Twelve Months
                             2012       2011        2012        2011
Total operating revenue       $98,451  $92,191   $377,715  $388,461
Operating expenses                                            
Salaries, wages and related   28,515     29,966      115,333     120,834
expenses
Purchased transportation      18,031     20,826      68,303      72,682
Fuel                          19,966     19,563      79,982      93,217
Supplies and maintenance      13,922     13,849      53,028      56,410
Revenue equipment rent        11,790     10,037      42,995      36,590
Depreciation                  2,845      3,906       11,513      17,781
Communications and utilities  1,099      1,164       4,398       4,682
Claims and insurance          5,222      7,349       12,725      20,553
Operating taxes and licenses  1,007      1,061       4,083       4,150
Gain on sale of propertyand  (953)      (4,507)     (5,892)     (5,741)
equipment
Miscellaneous                 1,410      1,188       4,602       5,540
Total operating expenses      102,854    104,402     391,070     426,698
Loss from operations          (4,403)    (12,211)    (13,355)    (38,237)
                                                             
                                                             
Interest and other (income)                                   
expense
Interest expense              492        365         1,649       844
Equity in earnings of limited (326)      (363)       (868)       (914)
partnership
Life insurance and other      198        189         717         621
Total interest and other      364        191         1,498       551
(income) expense
Loss before income taxes     (4,767)    (12,402)    (14,853)    (38,788)
Income tax expense (benefit)  48         (642)       203         (2,118)
Net loss                     $(4,815) $(11,760) $(15,056) $(36,670)
                                                             
Net loss per share of common                                  
stock
Basic                         $(0.27)  $(0.67)   $(0.84)   $(2.08)
Diluted                       $(0.27)  $(0.67)   $(0.84)   $(2.08)
Weighted average shares                                       
outstanding
Basic                         17,893     17,686      17,852      17,589
Diluted                       17,893     17,686      17,852      17,589

The following table summarizes and compares the significant components of
revenue and presents our operating ratio and revenue per truck per week for
the three and twelve months ended December 31:

                       Three Months           Twelve Months
Revenue from            2012       2011        2012        2011
Temperature-controlled  $28,382  $25,582   $106,203  $115,813
services
Dry-freight services    5,908      6,922       22,539      40,489
Total truckload         34,290     32,504      128,742     156,302
linehaul services
Dedicated services      4,037      4,418       18,202      17,469
Total truckload         38,327     36,922      146,944     173,771
Less-than-truckload     33,986     26,122      127,903     112,030
linehaul services
Fuel surcharges         20,114     18,022      76,238      80,705
Brokerage and logistics 4,732      10,255      22,310      18,524
services
Equipment rental       1,292      870         4,320       3,431
Total operating         98,451     92,191      377,715     388,461
revenue
                                                       
Operating expenses      102,854    104,402     391,070     426,698
Loss from operations    $(4,403) $(12,211) $(13,355) $(38,237)
Operating ratio ^(a)    104.5 %    113.2 %     103.5 %     109.8 %
                                                       
Total truckload revenue $38,327  $36,922   $146,944  $173,771
Less-than-truckload     33,986     26,122      127,903     112,030
linehaul revenue
Total linehaul and
dedicated services      $72,313  $63,044   $274,847  $285,801
revenue
                                                       
Weekly average trucks   1,577      1,648       1,531       1,751
in service
Revenue per truck per   $3,489   $2,911    $3,433    $3,130
week ^(b)
                                                       
Computational notes:                                                      
(a) Operating expenses
divided by total                                        
operating revenue.
(b) Average daily revenue times seven divided             
by weekly average trucks in service.

The following table summarizes and compares selected statistical data relating
to our freight operations for the three and twelve months ended December 31:

                               Three Months         Twelve Months
Truckload                       2012       2011      2012     2011
Total linehaul miles ^(a)       22,625     21,317    86,186   109,065
Loaded miles ^(a)               19,790     18,658    75,680   96,547
Empty mile ratio ^(b)           12.5 %     12.5 %    12.2 %   11.5 %
Linehaul revenue per total mile $1.52    $1.52   $1.49  $1.43
^(c)
Linehaul revenue per loaded     $1.73    $1.74   $1.70  $1.62
mile ^(d)
Linehaul shipments ^(a)         21.1       21.2      82.0     107.6
Loaded miles per shipment ^(e)  938        877       923      897
Less-than-truckload                                        
Hundredweight ^(a)              2,236      1,843     8,761    8,038
Shipments ^(a)                  74.6       61.5      291.5    259.8
Linehaul revenue per            $15.20   $14.17  $14.60 $13.94
hundredweight ^(f)
Linehaul revenue per shipment   $456     $425    $439   $431
^(g)
Average weight per shipment     2,999      3,000     3,006    3,094
^(h)
                                                          
Computational notes:                                                      
(a) In thousands.                                          
(b) Total truckload linehaul miles less truckload loaded      
miles divided by total truckload linehaul miles.
(c) Revenue from truckload linehaul services                
divided by truckload total linehaul miles.
(d) Revenue from truckload linehaul
services divided bytruckload loaded                        
miles.
(e) Total truckload loaded miles divided by number           
of truckload linehaul shipments.
(f) LTL revenue divided by LTL                             
hundredweight.
(g) LTL revenue divided by                                 
number of LTL shipments.
(h) LTL hundredweight times one hundred divided by           
number of LTL shipments.

The following table summarizes and compares the makeup of our fleets between
company-provided tractors and tractors provided by owner-operators as of
December 31:

                                                              2012  2011
Total company tractors available for freight operations        1,490 1,390
Total owner-operator tractors available for freight operations 317   266
Total tractors available for freight operations                1,807 1,656
Total trailers available for freight operations                3,252 3,388

CONTACT: Frozen Food Express Industries, Inc.
         Russell Stubbs, President and CEO
         John Hickerson, EVP and COO
         John McManama, SVP and CFO
         (214) 630-8090
         Dave Mossberg, Investor Relations
         Three Part Advisors, LLC
         817 310-0051

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