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Celadon Group's quarterly profit jumps 50 percent

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Indianapolis-based Celadon Group Inc. reported late Tuesday that its fiscal first-quarter profit jumped 50 percent on higher freight revenue and lower operating expenses.

For the quarter ended Sept. 30, the trucking company said profit increased to $8.3 million, or to 36 cents per share, compared with $5.5 million, or 24 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Analysts following Celadon had expected it to earn 34 cents per share.

Celadon attributed the improvement to a 2.2-percent increase in revenue per loaded mile and a decrease in operations, maintenance and fuel expenses.

The stronger earnings were partially offset by a 5-percent decline in miles per truck from the prior year due to a “weak freight environment,” Celadon said.

Revenue increased 6.5 percent, to $153.3 million. Excluding fuel surcharges, freight revenue rose 6.4 percent, to $122.1 million.

On Monday, Celadon directors approved a cash dividend to shareholders for the quarter ended Dec. 31 of 2 cents per share, payable Jan. 15.

Celadon shares opened trading Wednesday morning at $16.60 each, up from $15.07 at the start of the month.
 

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