Heartland Express, Inc. Reports Revenues and Earnings for the Third Quarter of 2013

Heartland Express, Inc. Reports Revenues and Earnings for the Third Quarter of
2013

NORTH LIBERTY, Iowa, Oct. 16, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Heartland Express, Inc.
(Nasdaq:HTLD) announced today financial results for the quarter ended
September 30, 2013. For the quarter, net income increased $3.4 million to
$15.9 million compared to $12.4 million in the 2012 period, a 27.6% increase.
Basic earnings per share increased 26.7% to $0.19 from $0.15 reported in the
third quarter of 2012. For the nine months ended September 30, 2013 net income
increased $7.5 million to $54.7 million compared to $47.2 million for the same
period of 2012, a 15.9% increase. Basic earnings per share increased 18.2% to
$0.65 from $0.55 reported in the nine months ended September 30, 2012.

For the quarter ended September 30, 2013, operating revenues decreased to
$130.6 million from $135.0 million in the third quarter of 2012. Improvements
in rates were more than offset by new government regulations on hours of
service which began July 1, 2013, a competitive environment for the high
quality, professional truck drivers who meet our hiring requirements, an
inconsistent freight environment, and slightly lower fuel surcharge revenue.
Fuel surcharge revenues were $26.7 million for the quarter, a 1.6% decline
from $27.1 million in the same period of 2012.

For the nine months ended September 30, 2013 operating revenues decreased to
$398.9 million from $409.6 million in the 2012 period, including a decline in
fuel surcharge revenues to $82.0 million in the 2013 period compared with
$84.4 million in the 2012 period. Operating income for the three and nine
month periods was positively impacted by a $2.8 million and a $14.9 million
increase in gains, respectively, on disposal of property and equipment as
Heartland Express, Inc. (the "Company") continued to upgrade its fleet and the
used equipment market remained strong.

Effective July 1, 2013, the Company adjusted its depreciation estimate for
tractors to the 125% declining balance method from the 150% declining balance
method.Under the declining balance method, depreciation for each tractor is
highest in the first year and declines in each year throughout the useful
life. This differs from the straight line method used by many other trucking
companies, and the Company believes that the declining balance method better
matches the actual declines in value of new tractors over their useful
lives.Beginning in 2009, the Company changed its estimate of depreciation
from the 125% method to the 150% declining balance method because of sharply
lower used truck values, higher prices for new equipment, and uncertainty
surrounding the reliability and resale value of tractors with 2010
emission-compliant engines.The Company believes a more stable used equipment
market now supports a return to the Company's historical estimate of
depreciation on tractor equipment over its expected useful life as well as
estimated values of such equipment at the end of the equipment's useful
life.In future periods, depreciation expense per tractor and gain on sale per
tractor are expected to be lower than under the 150% declining balance method,
assuming the Company's average fleet age remains relatively young.Changing
to the 125% declining balance method from the 150% declining balance method
increased operating income and decreased depreciation expense by approximately
$2.1 million during the three and nine months ended September30, 2013. 

For the quarter, the Company posted an operating ratio (operating expenses as
a percentage of operating revenues) of 80.1% and a 12.1% net margin (net
income as a percentage of operating revenues) compared to 85.4% and 9.2%,
respectively, in the third quarter of 2012.The Company posted an operating
ratio of 78.5% and a 13.7% net margin for the nine month period ended
September30, 2013 compared to an 82.9% operating ratio and an 11.5% net
margin for the same period of 2012.

Improvements in our overall fleet fuel economy, largely the result of capital
spending on a newer tractor fleet, lower fleet utilization, and decreases in
fuel prices, all contributed in fuel expense decreases for both the quarterly
period and year to date periods compared to the respective periods of
2012.Fuel expense decreased 7.5% or $3.2 million for the quarter ended
September30, 2013 and 4.3% or $5.4 million for the nine months ended
September30, 2013.The U.S. average cost of diesel fuel was $3.92 per gallon
during the third quarter of 2013, a 1.0% decrease from the third quarter of
the prior year. The U.S. average cost of diesel fuel for the first nine months
of 2013 was $3.94 per gallon, a 0.5% decline from an average price of $3.96
for the comparable period of 2012.

The average age of the Company's tractor fleet was 2.0 years as of
September30, 2013 compared to 2.4 years as of September30, 2012.The Company
took delivery of 303 new tractors during the third quarter of 2013 which
included International ProStar Plus and Freightliner Cascadia models.The
current tractor fleet upgrade will continue through the first quarter of 2014
which will complete the latest scheduled purchase of 1,100 new tractors.The
average age of the Company's trailer fleet was 3.2 years at September30, 2013
compared to 3.3 years at September30, 2012, with 100% of our trailers being
2007 models and newer at the end of the quarter.

The Company ended the quarter with cash, cash equivalents, and short and
long-term investments totaling $175.4 million, a $35.5 million increase from
the $139.9 million reported at December 31, 2012 despite spending $35.1
million (net of sales proceeds) for fleet equipment upgrades during the first
nine months of the year.As of September30, 2013, the Company's balance of
auction rate securities, at par, was $11.4 million.The Company has received
call notices, at par, of $6.9 million of auction rate securities which are
expected to be received in early fourth quarter of 2013.Net cash flows from
operations increased to 18.3% of operating revenues during the nine months
ended September30, 2013 compared with 16.5% for the same period of
September30, 2012.The Company continues to maintain a debt-free balance
sheet with total assets of $537.5 million.The Company ended the trailing
twelve months as of September30, 2013 with a return on total assets of 13.6%
and a 21.8% return on equity compared to 11.8% and 17.9%, respectively, during
the trailing twelve months as of September30, 2012.

A dividend of $0.02 per share was declared during the quarter and was paid on
October 2, 2013.The Company has now paid cumulative cash dividends of $441.7
million, including three special dividends, over the past forty-one
consecutive quarters. The Company has not purchased any shares of its common
stock during the current fiscal year.As of September 30, 2013, there are 3.2
million shares remaining under the current repurchase authorization.

Heartland Express continues to build on its reputation as a quality service
provider. Providing excellent customer service has allowed us to build solid,
long-term relationships.In addition to seven previously announced awards
during 2013, we were recently recognized with the DuPont 2012 Outstanding
Service Award, the FedEx 2013 Carrier of the Year Award, the FedEx 2013 Gold
Award for 99.8% on time service, the FedEx Smartpost 2013 Peak Performance
Award, the Niagara Waters East Region Carrier Partner of the Year Award, the
Sonoco 2013 Helping Hands of the Year Award, the United Sugars 2013 Dry Van
Carrier of the Year Award, the Whirlpool Corporation 2013 Carrier of the Year
Award, and Logistics Management magazine's Dry Freight Carrier Quest for
Quality award for the eleventh consecutive year.These awards are a direct
reflection upon our operational excellence and our outstanding group of
drivers.

This press release may contain statements that might be considered as
forward-looking statements or predictions of future operations.Such
statements are based on management's belief or interpretation of information
currently available.These statements and assumptions involve certain risks
and uncertainties.Actual events may differ from these expectations as
specified from time to time in filings with the Securities and Exchange
Commission.

HEARTLAND EXPRESS, INC.
AND SUBSIDIARIES
                                                                  
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME
(Unaudited, in thousands, except per share amounts)
                                                                  
                                         Three Months Ended Nine Months Ended
                                         September 30,      September 30,
                                         2013      2012     2013     2012
OPERATING REVENUE                         $130,645  $135,010 $398,909 $409,552
                                                                  
OPERATING EXPENSES:                                                
Salaries, wages, and benefits             $39,556   $40,899  $121,093 $125,857
Rent and purchased transportation         1,112     1,495    3,735    4,752
Fuel                                      39,261    42,443   120,876  126,259
Operations and maintenance                4,987     6,468    14,256   18,371
Operating taxes and licenses              1,972     2,122    6,856    6,445
Insurance and claims                      2,016     4,832    9,620    11,297
Communications and utilities              767       756      2,239    2,249
Depreciation                              15,117    14,250   47,112   42,184
Other operating expenses                  4,334     3,752    11,839   11,379
Gain on disposal of property and          (4,477)   (1,674)  (24,299) (9,433)
equipment
                                                                  
                                         104,645   115,343  313,327  339,360
                                                                  
Operating income                          26,000    19,667   85,582   70,192
                                                                  
Interest income                           126       191      378      500
                                                                  
Income before income taxes                26,126    19,858   85,960   70,692
                                                                  
Federal and state income taxes            10,258    7,424    31,220   23,443
                                                                  
Net income                                $15,868   $12,434  $54,740  $47,249
                                                                  
Earnings per share                                                 
Basic                                     $0.19     $0.15    $0.65    $0.55
Diluted                                   $0.19     $0.14    $0.64    $0.55
                                                                  
Weighted average shares outstanding                                
Basic                                     84,837    85,646   84,799   86,189
Diluted                                   85,038    85,925   85,041   86,508
                                                                  
Dividends declared per share              $0.02     $0.02    $0.06    $0.06
                                                                  

                                                                
HEARTLAND EXPRESS, INC.
AND SUBSIDIARIES
                                                                
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(in thousands, except per share amounts)
(unaudited)
                                                   September 30, December 31,
ASSETS                                              2013          2012
CURRENT ASSETS                                                   
Cash and cash equivalents                           $164,215      $119,838
Short term investments                              6,850         —
Trade receivables, net                              48,112        46,555
Prepaid tires                                       4,806         6,603
Other current assets                                5,689         2,281
Income tax receivable                               4,119         2,351
Deferred income taxes, net                          12,509        13,797
Total current assets                                246,300       191,425
                                                                
PROPERTY AND EQUIPMENT                              449,894       432,330
Less accumulated depreciation                       177,206       189,959
                                                   272,688       242,371
LONG-TERM INVESTMENTS                               4,345         20,016
OTHER ASSETS                                        14,119        13,925
                                                   $537,452      $467,737
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY                             
CURRENT LIABILITIES                                              
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities            $28,825       $7,583
Compensationand benefits                           18,235        16,409
Insurance accruals                                  11,934        13,924
Other accruals                                      7,535         7,439
Total current liabilities                           66,529        45,355
LONG-TERM LIABILITIES                                            
Income taxes payable                                19,708        23,122
Deferred income taxes, net                          55,345        51,306
Insurance accruals less current portion             54,008        57,590
Total long-term liabilities                         129,061       132,018
COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES                                    
STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY                                             
Capital stock, common, $.01 par value; authorized
395,000 shares; issued 90,689 in 2013 and 2012;     907           907
outstanding 84,837 in 2013 and 84,770 in 2012
Additional paid-in capital                          3,774         2,968
Retained earnings                                   417,951       368,313
Treasury stock, at cost; 5,852 in 2013 and 5,919 in (80,540)      (80,540)
2012
Accumulated other comprehensive loss                (230)         (1,284)
                                                   341,862       290,364
                                                   $537,452      $467,737
                                                                

CONTACT: Heartland Express, Inc.
         Mike Gerdin, Chief Executive Officer
         John Cosaert, Chief Financial Officer
         319-626-3600
 
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