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J.B. Hunt Q3 higher earnings up YOY

Trucking and transportation services provider J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. posted higher earnings in the third quarter as revenue and operating income at its intermodal segment rose from a year earlier.

The company reported net earnings of $131.1 million, or $1.19 per share, for the third quarter of 2018, up from $100.4 million, or 91 cents per share, in the same quarter of 2017.

Operating income in the period rose 6% year over year to $174.7 million from $165 million on the back of customer rate increases that were partially offset by increases in wages and recruiting costs, increased rail purchase transportation and third-party dray rates and increased spending on new operating systems.

Operating income at the company's intermodal segment increased 10% to $120.3 million while the segment's revenue rose 16% to $1.22 billion.

Total operating revenue for the current quarter was $2.21 billion from $1.84 billion in the prior-year period.

Net earnings for the nine months ended Sept. 30 came in at $400.9 million, or $3.63 per share, compared to $301.0 million, or $2.71 per share, in the previous same period.

The trucking company said Oct. 10 that it expects to take a hit of about $28.9 million, or 26 cents per share, to its third-quarter and full-year 2018 after-tax earnings due to legal issues.