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Old Dominion Freight Line posts lower-than-expected Q1 revenue on lesser shipments

U.S. less-than-truckload carrier Old Dominion Freight Line reported first-quarter revenue below Wall Street estimates on Wednesday, as the company hauled less weight and shipments in the quarter.

A shift in consumer spending post-pandemic coupled with global shipping logjams have constrained freight volumes in the industry, impacting profits at carriers such as Old Dominion.

The company, which ships relatively small loads of freight between 150 pounds and 15,000 pounds, posted a 1.2% rise in revenue from a year earlier to $1.46 billion. Analysts on average had estimated $1.47 billion, according to LSEG data.

It hauled a total of 2.2 million tons of shipments in the quarter, down 3.2% from 2.3 million tons a year earlier.

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"...challenges from the domestic economy have persisted for longer than we originally expected," said CEO Marty Freeman.

Old Dominion said it expects capital expenditure for 2024 to total approximately $750 million, with investments coming in real estate, tractor and trailers, and to expand its service centers.

The company reported a net income of $292.3 million, or $1.34 per share, for the quarter ended March 31, from $285 million, or $1.29 per share, a year earlier.

The Thomasville, North Carolina-based carrier's operating ratio, a key metric that indicates operating expenses as a percentage of revenue, rose by 10 basis points to 73.5%.

A higher operating ratio reflects an increase in costs, suggesting growing inefficiency in a company. (This story has been corrected to say first-quarter revenue below Wall Street estimates, not above estimates, in paragraph 1)

(Reporting by Abhinav Parmar in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)