Trucker CH Robinson's 3Q profit up 2 percent

MINNEAPOLIS -- Trucking company C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc. said Tuesday that third-quarter earnings rose 2 percent as higher costs held down margins and revenue fell short of expectations.

The report was similar to the second quarter, when profit and revenue both grew a modest 3 percent. The company has been struggling to increase revenue in the face of tougher competition.

Net income was $116.3 million, or 72 cents per share, compared with $114.3 million, or 70 cents per share, a year earlier.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected 73 cents per share.

Revenue rose 7 percent to $2.88 billion from a year earlier but missed analysts' forecast of $2.97 billion.

Trucking revenue rose 2 percent, even though truckload volumes increased 8 percent, as costs per mile dragged down profit margins. Revenue from less-than-truckload work in which a single truck carries goods for several customers, rose 11 percent as a 17 percent gain in shipments was partly offset by thinner margins.

Transportation-management and customs services grew 17 percent but accounted for a small part of total revenue.

Overhead costs grew 8.3 percent, purchased products sourced for resale rose 5 percent, and personnel expense inched higher by 0.7 percent.

Shares of the Minneapolis company rose $1.13 to close at $60.98 before the results were released on a day of broad decline for the stock market. They fell 5 cents in after-hours trading.