Los Angeles Business Journal

UTi Worldwide’s Quarter Better Than Expected

By Deborah Crowe Thursday, September 1, 2011

Shares of UTi Worldwide Inc. gained 13 percent on Thursday after the freight logistics company said its fiscal second-quarter earnings jumped 21 percent on higher revenue across all of its business segments.

The Long Beach company reported net income of $22.9 million (22 cents per share) for the quarter ended July 31, compared with $18.9 million (19 cents) in the same period a year earlier. Revenue rose 13 percent to $1.3 billion.

The quarter included $2.4 million in severance costs. Adjusted per-share profit excluding severance was 24 cents. Analysts surveyed by FactSet on average were expecting adjusted per-share profit of 21 cents on revenue of $1.25 billion.

UTi said it saw higher revenue from airfreight forwarding, ocean freight forwarding, customs brokerage, contract logistics and distribution, but noted that a significant portion of the gain could be attributed to higher fuel surcharges and currency fluctuations. Ocean freight volumes did increase, but airfreight volumes were down compared with very high levels seen last year, the company said.

“Operating expenses grew less than net revenues in the second quarter, and our efforts to control costs have helped productivity,” said Chief Executive Eric W. Kirchner, noting that adjusted operating income jumped 27 percent. “We were pleased to see continued growth in many of our contract logistics operations with new business wins in our Africa and Asia Pacific regions, as well as an improvement in our U.S. distribution business.”

Shares closed up $178, or 13 percent, to $15.32 on the Nasdaq.