XPO Reports Fourth Quarter 2023 Results

XPO (NYSE: XPO) today announced its financial results for the fourth quarter 2023, reflecting a strong performance in a soft industry environment for freight transportation. The company reported diluted earnings from continuing operations per share of $0.49 and adjusted diluted earnings from continuing operations per share of $0.77.

Mario Harik, chief executive officer of XPO, said, “We delivered fourth quarter results that were solidly above expectations, reflecting substantial momentum in service quality, pricing and productivity. Companywide, year-over-year, we grew revenue by 6% and adjusted EBITDA by 28%, excluding real estate gains in 2022.

“In North American LTL, we outperformed on every key operating metric. This includes fourth quarter yield growth, excluding fuel, of 10.3%, adjusted operating income growth of 51%, and adjusted operating ratio improvement of 380 basis points. Our tonnage per day was 2% higher than a year ago, with nearly 6% more shipments per day.

“Behind each of these gains is our LTL 2.0 growth plan and our commitment to provide premium customer service. In the fourth quarter, we improved our damage claims ratio to a new company record of 0.3%. The more service quality we deliver, the more value our customers realize from doing business with us. This dynamic is a key driver of our margin expansion.”

Harik continued, “It was gratifying to see our strategy take root in 2023, XPO’s first full year as a standalone LTL company in North America. Every positive trend in the business comes from our team’s strong execution. We’re excited to continue to capitalize on our momentum, while laying more groundwork for the years ahead."

Fourth Quarter Highlights

For the fourth quarter 2023, revenue was $1.94 billion, compared to $1.83 billion for the same period in 2022. The year-over-year increase in revenue was due primarily to higher yield, excluding fuel, and an increase in tonnage per day in the North American LTL segment, partially offset by lower fuel surcharge revenue.

Net income from continuing operations was $58 million for the fourth quarter, compared with a net loss of $36 million for the same period in 2022. Operating income was $119 million for the fourth quarter, compared with $4 million for the same period in 2022. Diluted earnings from continuing operations per share was $0.49 for the fourth quarter, compared with a loss per share of $0.31 for the same period in 2022.

Adjusted net income from continuing operations, a non-GAAP financial measure, was $93 million for the fourth quarter, compared with $113 million for the same period in 2022. Adjusted diluted earnings from continuing operations per share (“adjusted diluted EPS”), a non-GAAP financial measure, was $0.77 for the fourth quarter, compared with $0.98 for the same period in 2022.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (“adjusted EBITDA”), a non-GAAP financial measure, was $264 million for the fourth quarter, compared with $262 million for the same period in 2022. The fourth quarter 2022 included $55 million of real estate gains.

The company generated $251 million of cash flow from operating activities in the fourth quarter, and ended the quarter with $412 million of cash and cash equivalents on hand, after $1.03 billion of net capital expenditures, including $878 million related to the acquisition of 28 service center locations.
 
Results by Business Segment

  • North American Less-Than-Truckload (LTL): The segment generated revenue of $1.19 billion for the fourth quarter 2023, compared with $1.09 billion for the same period in 2022. On a year-over-year basis, shipments per day increased 5.7%, tonnage per day increased 2.0%, and yield, excluding fuel, increased 10.3%. Including fuel, yield increased 5.8%.
     
    Operating income was $149 million for the fourth quarter 2023, compared with $152 million for the same period in 2022. Adjusted operating income, a non-GAAP financial measure, was $160 million for the fourth quarter, compared with $106 million for the same period in 2022. Adjusted operating ratio, a non-GAAP financial measure, was 86.5%, reflecting a year-over-year improvement of 380 basis points.
     
    Adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter 2023 was $233 million, compared with $232 million for the same period in 2022. The year-over-year increase in adjusted EBITDA was due primarily to higher yield, excluding fuel, and an increase in tonnage per day, partially offset by lower fuel surcharge revenue and pension income, as well as $55 million of gains from real estate sales in the 2022 period, compared with no gains in 2023. Excluding the impact of real estate sales, adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter 2023 increased by 32% year-over-year.
     
  • European Transportation: The segment generated revenue of $753 million for the fourth quarter 2023, compared with $738 million for the same period in 2022.
     
    Operating loss was $2 million for the fourth quarter 2023, compared with a loss of $60 million for the same period in 2022.
     
    Adjusted EBITDA was $36 million for the fourth quarter, compared with $39 million for the same period in 2022.
     
  • Corporate: The segment generated an operating loss of $28 million for the fourth quarter 2023, compared with a loss of $88 million for the same period in 2022. The year-over-year decrease in operating loss was due primarily to a $29 million reduction in transaction and integration costs and a $29 million reduction in restructuring costs as the company continues to rationalize corporate overhead. This was partially offset by an $8 million non-cash accrual in 2023 related to the expected resolution of a previously disclosed environmental matter.
     
    Adjusted EBITDA, a non-GAAP financial measure, was a loss of $5 million for the fourth quarter, compared with a loss of $9 million for the same period in 2022.

Conference Call

The company will hold a conference call on Wednesday, February 7, 2024, at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. Participants can call toll-free (from US/Canada) 1-877-269-7756; international callers dial +1-201-689-7817. A live webcast of the conference will be available on the investor relations area of the company’s website, xpo.com/investors. The conference will be archived until March 9, 2024. To access the replay by phone, call toll-free (from US/Canada) 1-877-660-6853; international callers dial +1-201-612-7415. Use participant passcode 13743551.

About XPO

XPO, Inc. (NYSE: XPO) is one of the largest providers of asset-based less-than-truckload (LTL) transportation in North America, with proprietary technology that moves goods efficiently through its network. Together with its business in Europe, XPO serves approximately 52,000 customers with 596 locations and 38,000 employees. The company is headquartered in Greenwich, Conn., USA. Visit xpo.com for more information, and connect with XPO on Facebook, X, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

As required by the rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), we provide reconciliations of the non-GAAP financial measures contained in this press release to the most directly comparable measure under GAAP, which are set forth in the financial tables attached to this press release.

XPO’s non-GAAP financial measures in this press release include: adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (“adjusted EBITDA”) on a consolidated basis and for corporate; adjusted EBITDA margin on a consolidated basis; adjusted EBITDA excluding gains on real estate transactions on a consolidated basis and for our North American Less-Than-Truckload segment; adjusted net income from continuing operations; adjusted diluted earnings from continuing operations per share (“adjusted diluted EPS”); adjusted operating income for our North American Less-Than-Truckload and European Transportation segments; and adjusted operating ratio for our North American Less-Than-Truckload segment.

We believe that the above adjusted financial measures facilitate analysis of our ongoing business operations because they exclude items that may not be reflective of, or are unrelated to, XPO and its business segments’ core operating performance, and may assist investors with comparisons to prior periods and assessing trends in our underlying businesses. Other companies may calculate these non-GAAP financial measures differently, and therefore our measures may not be comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies. These non-GAAP financial measures should only be used as supplemental measures of our operating performance.

Adjusted EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA margin, adjusted EBITDA excluding gains on real estate transactions, adjusted net income from continuing operations, adjusted diluted EPS, adjusted operating income and adjusted operating ratio include adjustments for transaction and integration costs, as well as restructuring costs and other adjustments as set forth in the attached tables. Transaction and integration adjustments are generally incremental costs that result from an actual or planned acquisition, divestiture or spin-off and may include transaction costs, consulting fees, stock-based compensation, retention awards, internal salaries and wages (to the extent the individuals are assigned full-time to integration and transformation activities) and certain costs related to integrating and converging IT systems. Restructuring costs primarily relate to severance costs associated with business optimization initiatives. Management uses these non-GAAP financial measures in making financial, operating and planning decisions and evaluating XPO’s and each business segment’s ongoing performance.

We believe that adjusted EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA margin improve comparability from period to period by removing the impact of our capital structure (interest and financing expenses), asset base (depreciation and amortization), goodwill impairment charge, tax impacts and other adjustments as set out in the attached tables that management has determined are not reflective of core operating activities and thereby assist investors with assessing trends in our underlying businesses. We believe that adjusted net income from continuing operations and adjusted diluted EPS improve the comparability of our operating results from period to period by removing the impact of certain costs and gains that management has determined are not reflective of our core operating activities, including amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets, transaction and integration costs, restructuring costs and other adjustments as set out in the attached tables. We believe that adjusted operating income and adjusted operating ratio improve the comparability of our operating results from period to period by removing the impact of certain transaction and integration costs and restructuring costs, as well as amortization expenses as set out in the attached tables.

Forward-looking Statements

This release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All statements other than statements of historical fact are, or may be deemed to be, forward-looking statements. In some cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terms such as “anticipate,” “estimate,” “believe,” “continue,” “could,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “should,” “will,” “expect,” “objective,” “projection,” “forecast,” “goal,” “guidance,” “outlook,” “effort,” “target,” “trajectory” or the negative of these terms or other comparable terms. These forward-looking statements are based on certain assumptions and analyses made by us in light of our experience and our perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments, as well as other factors we believe are appropriate in the circumstances.

These forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions that may cause actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that might cause or contribute to a material difference include the risks discussed in our filings with the SEC, and the following: the effects of business, economic, political, legal, and regulatory impacts or conflicts upon our operations; supply chain disruptions, the global shortage of certain components such as semiconductor chips, strains on production or extraction of raw materials, cost inflation and labor and equipment shortages; our ability to align our investments in capital assets, including equipment, service centers, and warehouses and other network facilities, to our customers’ demands; our ability to implement our cost and revenue initiatives; the effectiveness of our action plan, and other management actions, to improve our North American LTL business; our ability to benefit from a sale, spin-off or other divestiture of one or more business units; our ability to successfully integrate and realize anticipated synergies, cost savings and profit improvement opportunities with respect to acquired companies; goodwill impairment, including in connection with a business unit sale or other divestiture; changes in tariffs, trade restrictions, trade agreements, tax policies, the impacts of our defined benefit plans, difficulties in managing or overseeing foreign operations and external agents different liability standards, issues related to compliance with data protection laws, competition laws, and intellectual property laws in countries that we provide services in; fluctuations in currency exchange rates; fuel price and fuel surcharge changes; the expected benefits of the spin-offs of GXO Logistics, Inc. and RXO, Inc. on the size and business diversity of our company; our ability to develop and implement suitable information technology systems; the impact of potential cyber-attacks and information technology or data security breaches or failures; our indebtedness; our ability to raise debt and equity capital; fluctuations in fixed and floating interest rates; seasonal fluctuations; issues related to our intellectual property rights; our ability to maintain positive relationships with our network of third-party transportation providers; our ability to successfully manage the transitions of certain management roles; our ability to attract and retain key employees, including qualified drivers; labor matters; litigation; risks associated with our self-insured claims; governmental or political actions; and competition and pricing pressures.

All forward-looking statements set forth in this release are qualified by these cautionary statements and there can be no assurance that the actual results or developments anticipated by us will be realized or, even if substantially realized, that they will have the expected consequences to or effects on us or our business or operations. Forward-looking statements set forth in this release speak only as of the date hereof, and we do not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements except to the extent required by law.

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