Share prices of Indianapolis-based Celadon Group Inc. fell 15 percent this morning after it reported late yesterday that soft demand for its services caused profit to plunge in its first fiscal quarter.
The stock fell to $8.16 from its close yesterday of $9.65, then bounced back to $8.35.
The long-haul trucking service reported that it earned $2.5 million, or 11 cents per share, in the period ended Sept. 30-well below the 27 cents expected by analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial.
The company said the quarter was undermined by conditions it described as among the most difficult for the industry in several years.
Fewer tons were shipped at a time trucking firms still had plenty of trucks-the result of stocking up on trucks last year and early this year before new emissions regulations went into affect.
Celadon trucks generated an average of $1.35 in revenue per mile, including miles when the trucks weren’t loaded. That was down 3.2 percent from a year earlier, and the trucks were simply operated fewer miles overall.
Still, Celadon Chairman and CEO Steve Russell in a statement reiterated the company’s intent to continue growing both internally and through acquisitions.