Heartland Express, Inc. Reports Revenues and Earnings for the First Quarter of 2014

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

NORTH LIBERTY, Iowa, April 23, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Heartland Express,
Inc. (Nasdaq:HTLD) announced today financial results for the quarter ended
March 31, 2014.

Financial Results

Heartland Express ended the first quarter of 2014 with record operating
revenues of $224.5 million, a net income of $14.1 million, and $0.16 earnings
per share. Operating revenues increased 67.2% primarily due to the November
11, 2013 acquisition of Gordon Trucking, Inc. ("GTI"). Operating revenues for
the quarter included fuel surcharge revenues of $45.9 million compared to
$28.0 million in the same period of 2013.Operating income for the three-month
period was positively impacted by a $1.4 million reduction in depreciation
expense attributable to changing to the 125% declining balance method in the
third quarter of 2013 and was negatively impacted by a $9.1 million decrease
in gains on disposal of property and equipment.The Company posted an
operating ratio (operating expenses as a percentage of operating revenues) of
90.8% and a 6.3% net margin (net income as a percentage of operating revenues)
in the first quarter of 2014.

Fleet utilization and operating results for the quarter were negatively
impacted by severe winter weather across the eastern half of the U.S.The
Company continues to be challenged by the impact of government
hours-of-service regulations including the thirty-four hour restart and a
thirty minute break within the first eight hours of driving that were
effective July 1, 2013.

Balance Sheet, Liquidity, and Capital Expenditures

At March31, 2014, the Company had $16.9 million in cash balances and $62.0
million in borrowings under the Company's $250 million unsecured line of
credit.Borrowings under the line of credit bore interest at a weighted
average interest rate of 0.78%.The Company had $182.5 million in available
borrowing capacity on the line of credit at March31, 2014, after
consideration of outstanding letters of credit, and was in compliance with
associated financial covenants.The Company's debt balance decreased $13.0
million from December 31, 2013 due to net repayments during the quarter on the
Company's line of credit.The Company ended the quarter with total assets of
$723.7 million, net debt (total borrowing less cash on hand) of $45.1 million,
and a net debt to total capitalization ratio of approximately 9.9%.

During the quarter ended March31, 2014 the Company finalized the post-closing
true-up of working capital balances related to the acquisition of GTI.As a
result, the Company paid cash of $3.0 million during the quarter to the
previous owners of GTI, which included $1.5 million for a difference between
estimated and actual cash balances delivered at the close of the
transaction.The Company continues to work towards the full integration of the
two companies on a single information technology platform which it expects to
complete during 2014.

The average age of the Company's tractor fleet was 2.6 years as of March31,
2014 compared to 2.1 at March31, 2013.The Company took delivery of 151 new
trucks during the first quarter.Approximately 1,000 new trucks are currently
scheduled to be delivered throughout 2014 which is expected to decrease the
overall age of the Company's tractor fleet throughout 2014.The new trucks to
be delivered will be a mix of International ProStar Plus and Freightliner
Cascadia models.The average age of the Company's trailer fleet was 4.8 years
at March31, 2014 compared to 3.1 years at March31, 2013.The increase in the
trailer average age was primarily due to the age of the GTI fleet upon
acquisition on November 11, 2013.The Company is continuing its process of
updating GTI's trailer fleet exiting model years 2007 and prior.The Company
began taking delivery of 1,000 new Wabash dry van trailers during March 2014
which will reduce the average age of the trailer fleet throughout 2014.

Net cash flows from operations continued to be strong at 14.3% of operating
revenues during 2014 or $32.0 million.The primary uses of cash were $13.0
million for the repayment of long-term debt obligations, net capital
expenditures during the quarter of $16.7 million mainly related to tractor
fleet upgrades, and an additional payment of $3.0 million related to the
acquisition of GTI.The Company currently anticipates net capital expenditures
of approximately $115.0 million for the 2014 calendar year.The Company ended
the past twelve months with a return on total assets of 10.4% and a 17.6%
return on equity compared to 12.4% and 19.3%, respectively, during the twelve
month period ending March 31, 2013.

The Company continued its commitment to stockholders through the payment of
cash dividends.A dividend of $0.02 per share was declared during the quarter
and was paid on April 2, 2014. The Company has now paid cumulative cash
dividends of $445.2 million, including three special dividends, over the past
forty-three consecutive quarters.

Other Information

Heartland Express and GTI have had a long history of offering safe,
high-quality service to their customers.Recently Heartland was recognized by
Nestle Waters as their 2013 Southeast Region Carrier of the Year.GTI was
named a top 20 national carrier to drive for by the Truckload Carriers
Association (TCA) for the third year in a row.In addition, GTI has been named
the safest U.S. based trucking company in its division (carriers over 100
million miles per year) by the TCA for the fifth consecutive year. GTI was
also recognized by the California Trucking Association with two 2014 Fleet
Safety Awards. This marks the fourth time in five years that GTI has been
recognized as an outstanding and safe carrier by the State of California.
These awards are a direct reflection upon our combined safety and operational
excellence which starts with 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

(In thousands, except per share amounts)
                                          Three Months Ended March 31,
                                          2014           2013
OPERATING REVENUE                          $ 224,481      $ 134,273
OPERATING EXPENSES:                                      
Salaries, wages, and benefits              $70,945      $40,598
Rent and purchased transportation          14,510         1,298
Fuel                                       63,225         42,978
Operations and maintenance                 10,121         5,441
Operating taxes and licenses               4,846          2,416
Insurance and claims                       7,095          2,860
Communications and utilities               1,830          774
Depreciation and amortization              24,573         15,066
Other operating expenses                   8,691          3,813
Gain on disposal of property and equipment (2,043)        (11,178)
                                          203,793        104,066
Operating income                           20,688         30,207
Interest income                            36             123
Interest expense                           (155)          —
Income before income taxes                 20,569         30,330
Federal and state income taxes             6,490          10,596
Net income                                 $14,079      $19,734
Earnings per share                                       
Basic                                      $0.16        $0.23
Diluted                                    $0.16        $0.23
Weighted average shares outstanding                      
Basic                                      87,704         84,770
Diluted                                    87,917         85,046
Dividends declared per share               $0.02        $0.02

(in thousands, except per share amounts)
                                                      March 31,  December 31,
ASSETS                                                 2014       2013
CURRENT ASSETS                                                   
Cash and cash equivalents                              $16,931  $17,763
Trade receivables, net                                 91,165     84,400
Prepaid tires                                          7,955      6,999
Prepaid shop supplies                                  3,287      4,194
Other current assets                                   12,410     11,061
Income tax receivable                                  2,179      5,706
Deferred income taxes, net                             13,773     14,177
Total current assets                                   147,700    144,300
PROPERTY AND EQUIPMENT                                 638,351    622,864
Less accumulated depreciation                          194,612    173,605
                                                      443,739    449,259
GOODWILL                                               100,212    98,686
OTHER INTANGIBLES, NET                                 18,155     18,746
OTHER ASSETS                                           13,940     13,850
                                                      $723,746 $724,841
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY                             
CURRENT LIABILITIES                                              
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities               $26,539  $26,912
Compensationand benefits                              27,333     28,084
Insurance accruals                                     20,250     20,945
Other accruals                                         11,860     12,627
Total current liabilities                              85,982     88,568
LONG-TERM LIABILITIES                                            
Income taxes payable                                   18,915     20,089
Long-term debt                                         62,000     75,000
Deferred income taxes, net                             65,260     61,948
Insurance accruals less current portion                67,736     67,965
Other long-term liabilities                            13,618     13,618
Total long-term liabilities                            227,529    238,620
COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES                                    
STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY                                             
Capital stock, common, $.01 par value; authorized
395,000 shares; issued 90,689 in 2014 and 2013;        907        907
outstanding 87,705 in 2014 and 2013, respectively
Additional paid-in capital                             6,158      5,897
Retained earnings                                      444,355    432,034
Treasury stock, at cost; 2,984 in 2014 and 2013,       (41,185)   (41,185)
                                                      410,235    397,653
                                                      $723,746 $724,841

CONTACT: Heartland Express, Inc.
         Mike Gerdin, Chief Executive Officer
         John Cosaert, Chief Financial Officer
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