Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Horizon Lines Reports $13.2M Loss in 1st Q

Jones Act ocean carrier Horizon Lines Inc. posted a $13.2 million loss in the first quarter, citing increased operating expenses and a decline in container traffic on all the carrier's routes except for its Hawai'i/Guam service.

The first quarter loss is $3.2 million greater, or 24 percent, than the $10 million loss Horizon reported in the first quarter of 2009.

"During the quarter, we faced ongoing rate pressures, high fuel costs and increased contractual labor expenses relative to last year, and we expect these to continue," said Chuck Raymond, Horizon's chairman, president and chief executive officer.

After adjustments, Horizon reported its per share loss at 39 cents. Industry watching analysts had expected the loss to be in the 26 cents per share range.

Revenues during the first quarter rose 5 percent to $286.1 million.

Company-wide, total container volume for the first quarter fell by 1.9 percent, mainly on lackluster performance in the Puerto Rico and Alaska services. However, in the carrier's Hawaii/Guam service, total container volume was up slightly for the quarter.

"Our business in Hawaii is reflecting a modest economic recovery and Alaska is stabilizing," Raymond said. "Hawaii and Guam have improved nicely. They're up a couple of percentage points in March and we're seeing the same in April."