Horizon Lines Report Q1 2014 Container Volume Increase

Posted by George Backwell
Thursday, May 08, 2014
Image courtesy of Horizon Lines

Horizon Lines, Inc. has released its financial results for the fiscal first quarter ended March 23, 2014. Excerpts as follows:

First-Quarter 2014 Financial Highlights 

  • Volume, Rate & Fuel Cost – Container volume for the 2014 first quarter totaled 55,223 revenue loads, up 7.6% from 51,321 loads for the same period a year ago.  The increase was primarily due to improved volumes in our Hawaii and Puerto Rico markets, partially offset by a decline in volumes in our Alaska market. Unit revenue per container totaled $4,197 in the 2014 first quarter, compared with $4,363 a year ago. First-quarter unit revenue per container, net of fuel surcharges, was $3,221, down 2.0% from $3,286 a year ago. Vessel fuel costs averaged $638 per metric ton in the first quarter, 5.5% below the average price of $675 per ton in the same quarter a year ago.  
  • Operating Revenue – First-quarter operating revenue from continuing operations grew 3.0% to $251.9 million from $244.5 million a year ago. The factors driving the $7.4 million revenue improvement were a $12.9 million volume increase - driven by higher volumes in our Hawaii market, the addition of a bi-weekly Jacksonville sailing to our southbound service between Houston and San Juan, and market share gains in our service between Philadelphia and San Juan - and a $0.2 million rise in non-transportation services revenue. These were partially offset by a $3.3 million decrease in container revenue rates and a $2.4 million drop in bunker and intermodal fuel surcharges.
  • Operating Loss – The GAAP operating loss from continuing operations for the first quarter totaled $8.6 million, compared with an operating loss of $4.3 million a year ago. The $4.3 million decline was mainly due to higher fuel and labor costs associated with dry-docking transits and contractual cost increases that impacted marine, inland transportation and terminal expenses. The 2014 first-quarter GAAP operating loss includes charges totaling $1.9 million associated with employee severance and certain legal expenses. The 2013 first-quarter GAAP operating loss includes $5.4 million of costs associated with a restructuring charge, employee severance, and certain legal expenses. (See reconciliation tables for specific line-item amounts.) Adjusting for these items, the first-quarter 2014 adjusted operating loss from continuing operations totaled $6.6 million, compared with adjusted operating income of $1.1 million a year ago.
  • EBITDA – EBITDA from continuing operations totaled $4.9 million for the 2014 first quarter, compared with $8.4 million for the same period a year ago. Adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations for the first quarter of 2014 was $6.8 million versus $13.7 million for 2013. EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA for the 2014 and 2013 first quarters were impacted by the same factors affecting operating loss. Additionally, 2014 and 2013 first quarter adjusted EBITDA reflect the exclusion of $71 thousand and $45 thousand, respectively, of non-cash gains on marking the conversion feature in the company's convertible debt to fair value. (See reconciliation tables for specific line-item amounts.)

Sam Woodward, President and Chief Executive Officer: "We expect 2014 revenue container loads to be above 2013 levels due to anticipated modest volume growth in all three markets we serve. This projected volume growth takes into consideration the estimated impacts of a new competitor that entered the Puerto Rico Gulf service in May 2013, as well as a second vessel being added by a competitor in our Hawaii service during the fourth quarter of 2014, partially offset by the full-year impact of adding a bi-weekly Jacksonville sailing to our southbound service between Houston, Texas and San Juan, Puerto Rico."

"Overall, container rates are expected to be below 2013 levels due to very competitive market conditions and a slight change in cargo mix. The new vessel capacity added in Puerto Rico in 2013 and expected to be added in Hawaii in 2014 will continue to impact rates as well."

"We expect 2014 financial results to approximate 2013 results, with 2014 adjusted EBITDA projected between $85.0 million and $95.0 million, compared with $95.2 million in fiscal 2013."

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