Shares of Hub Group (HUBG 0.39%) jumped Wednesday after the freight transportation management company released its fourth-quarter financial results Tuesday night. As of 12:45 p.m. ET, Hub Group stock was up by 7.9%.
Ahead of the report, the consensus forecast from analysts was that Hub Group would earn $1.43 per share on sales of just under $1.2 billion. In fact, it earned $2.48 per share on sales of more than $1.2 billion.
Sales didn't just beat estimates. They grew 32% year over year in the quarter thanks to an environment that featured what the company understandably described as "strong freight demand." Indeed, demand for transport services was high throughout 2021; for the full year, Hub Group's sales grew 21% to $4.2 billion.
Profit margins expanded as well, enabling Hub Group to post earnings growth far in excess of sales growth -- up 270% year over year for the quarter, and up 131% for the year to $5.06 per diluted share.
"As 2022 begins, we continue to see robust demand from our customers and favorable market conditions," said CEO Dave Yeager. Management forecasts that revenues this year will rise at least another 17% to somewhere in the $4.9 billion to $5.1 billion range.
Profits on those revenues should be strong as well. Although Hub Group expects that its gross profit margins in 2022 will ease back somewhat from the record results achieved in Q4 2021 to a level in the 13.9% to 14.3% range, it nonetheless believes it will book profits in the range of $5.90 per share to $6.30 per share -- also up at least 17% year over year.