The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Dec. 31 (Q4), Marten Transport beat slightly on revenues and crushed expectations on earnings per share.
Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue grew significantly, and earnings per share expanded significantly.
Margins improved across the board.
Marten Transport logged revenue of $158 million. The six analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ predicted a top line of $156 million. Sales were 16% higher than the prior-year quarter's $137 million.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions.
EPS came in at $0.35. The six earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ predicted $0.28 per share. GAAP EPS of $0.35 for Q4 were 46% higher than the prior-year quarter's $0.24 per share.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Figures may be non-GAAP to maintain comparability with estimates.
For the quarter, gross margin was 49.1%, 2,550 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 7.6%, 120 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 4.8%, 100 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $154 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.21.
Next year's average estimate for revenue is $647 million. The average EPS estimate is $1.26.
The stock has a five-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 36 members out of 45 rating the stock outperform, and nine members rating it underperform. Among 19 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 16 give Marten Transport a green thumbs-up, and three give it a red thumbs-down.
Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Marten Transport is outperform, with an average price target of $22.50.
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Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor of Motley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.