UPDATE: Celadon shares leap after report

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Stock in Celadon Group Inc. jumped more than 12 percent today after the Indianapolis-based long-haul trucking firm reported fiscal fourth quarter profit that surpassed expectations. The shares rose to $14.18, the highest since September last year.

The $2.2 million in net profit amounted to 10 cents a share, well above the 6 cents anticipated by analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial.

Still, the earnings were well below the $5.2 million in the same quarter last year as Celadon continued to slog through the toughest stretch the industry has experienced in several years.

Revenue in the period ended June 30 rose 17.4 percent, to $154.6 million.

For the fiscal year, profit fell to $6.6 million from $22.3 million in the previous 12 months, but revenue climbed 12.6 percent, to $565.9 million.

CEO Steve Russell said Celadon operations suggest the industry shakeout is well underway and that better times lie ahead.

Celadon tractors are logging more miles than they have since late 2006, and the trucks are traveling fewer miles without cargo.

Improvements in Celadon operations is the result of other fleets going out of business and surviving firms cutting back truck inventories, Russell said.

“We are clearly seeing the results of a meaningful reduction in capacity in the truckload industry,” he said.

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