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S.L.'s Simon Transportation reports losses for quarter

SHARE S.L.'s Simon Transportation reports losses for quarter

Salt Lake-based Simon Transportation Services Inc. on Tuesday reported a net loss of nearly $23 million, or $4.37 per share, for the quarter ended Sept. 30. That compares with a loss of $6.9 million, or $1.13 per share, for the same period a year earlier.

For the fiscal year, the company's losses totaled $44.3 million, or $7.86 per share. That compares with a loss of $11.1 million, or $1.82 per share, for the prior fiscal year.

Operating revenue in the 2001 quarter totaled $74.5 million, up from $61.4 million in the prior-year period. For the fiscal year, operating revenue was $278.8 million, up from $231.4 million.

Chief executive officer Jon Isaacson said the company was hurt by high fuel costs, increased insurance and claims expense, soft freight demand and extremely high driver turnover, which led to a large number of tractors without drivers.

To try to return to profitability, the company has consolidated terminals, cut nondriver personnel, reduced wages and benefits for remaining salaried employees, improved service, obtained rate increases from customers and instituted higher driver wages aimed at reducing turnover.

The company said its losses have "constrained our liquidity." It has deferred some rent payments on leases for virtually all its tractors and trailers for several months. That has put the company in default under its leases.

Simon is a truckload carrier providing nationwide, predominantly temperature-controlled transportation services for major shippers.

The company's stock was trading at $2.05 early Tuesday, unchanged from Monday's close. In the past year, the price has ranged from $1 to $6.02.