Shares of YRC Worldwide sink on weak midquarter report

YRC LTL rig on highway

YRC Worldwide (NASDAQ: YRCW) has provided a brief update on shipping and yield metrics for the first two months of the second quarter of 2020, and the numbers raise concerns.

In a press release, the Overland Park, Kansas-based less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier reported an 18.6% year-over-year tonnage-per-day decline through the first two months of the quarter with revenue per hundredweight, or yield, declining 6.3%.

The carrier reported a 22.6% year-over-year decline in April tonnage with yield moving 5.8% lower. May tonnage was down 14.5% with a 6.7% yield decline.

YRC’s results imply revenue-per-day declines in the high-20% range during April and low-20% range during May. This is worse than the declines reported by its peers, ArcBest Corp. (NASDAQ: ARCB) and Old Dominion Freight Line (NASDAQ: ODFL), which saw year-over-year revenue declines around 20% in April and in the mid- to high teens in May.

Johns Creek, Georgia-based SAIA (NASDAQ: SAIA) reported a 12.9% year-over-year decline in April tonnage, with May tonnage down only 8.8%. The company didn’t provide yield metrics in its midquarter update.

Retail diesel prices, the basis for most carrier fuel surcharge programs, have moved more than 20% lower during the same period, providing a revenue headwind. Further, increased weight per shipment negatively distorts the revenue-per-hundredweight metric.

However, YRC reported only modest year-over-year increases in weight per shipment of 1.9% in April and 1.1% in May, compared to other LTL carriers.

In its midquarter update, Old Dominion reported a 4.7% year-over-year decline in yield, 1.4% lower excluding fuel surcharges, through the first two months of the quarter. However, the carrier’s weight per shipment was up 8.5% in April and increased 5.4% in May. When adjusted for weight, Old Dominion’s yield metrics far outpace those of YRC.

This likely added fodder for the YRC bears, which are suggesting that shippers are avoiding the carrier as speculation on its survival ramps up or are still shipping with the company albeit at an inferior rate.

YRC did see improving trends during May, which supports some analysts’ thesis that April was the bottom of the cycle.

Shares of YRCW were off more than 13% on the news and are down 23% since Monday’s close.

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