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Freight Shipments, Economy Improving: Ryder CEO

Wednesday, 27 Jul 2011 | 3:35 PM ET

While inconsistent and bumpy, the U.S. economy is slowly showing signs of improvement, Ryder System CEO Gregory Swienton told CNBC Wednesday.

Ryder's fleet of commercial trucks ship products from, among others, Toyota, CVS and Dunkin' Donuts, and there has been more freight to ship, Swienton said.

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"I think, as in many transport areas, capacity has been taken out so now there’s supply and demand activity," he said. With more demand "you can move up the pricing, which contributes to that revenue and earnings growth."

Earlier Wednesday the company reported quarterly earnings that beat analyst expectations and raised its full-year profit forecast to a range of $3.33 to $3.43 a share, up from $2.90 to $3.00 previously. It also forecast third-quarter earnings of 98 cents to $1.03 a share.

"I feel good about the next one to two quarters," Swienton said. "We know what’s in the pipeline for contracts in what we’re signing up. So at least until the end of the year we’ve got visibility and that’s why we had the confidence to raise our full year forecast from here to December."

According to Swienton, "We’re actually doing fewer lease extensions and more customer renewals. It is a great sign when customers are confident enough about their own customers, their own business, to sign up for those multiyear leases" which tend to be five to seven years for power equipment, for instance.

"That shows confidence and we’ve been seeing that recently," he said.

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