- Reports fourth quarter records for revenue, EPS, adjusted EBITDA, cash flow from operations and free cash flow
XPO Logistics, Inc. (NYSE: XPO) today announced financial results for the fourth quarter and full year 2017. Revenue was $4.19 billion for the quarter, compared with $3.68 billion for the same period in 2016. Revenue increased year-over-year by $555.2 million, excluding fourth quarter 2016 revenue of $37.9 million from the North American truckload unit divested in October 2016. Net income attributable to common shareholders was $188.5 million for the quarter, or earnings of $1.42 per diluted share, compared with net income attributable to common shareholders of $27.3 million, or earnings of $0.22 per diluted share, for the same period in 2016.
Adjusted net income attributable to common shareholders, a non-GAAP financial measure, was $59.2 million for the quarter, compared with $29.8 million for the same period in 2016. Adjusted earnings per diluted share, a non-GAAP financial measure, was $0.45 for the quarter, compared with $0.24 for the same period in 2016. Adjusted net income attributable to common shareholders and adjusted earnings per diluted share for the fourth quarter 2017 exclude: $169.6 million of a net tax benefit related to tax reform and other discrete tax-related adjustments; $23.2 million, or $15.3 million after-tax, of integration and rebranding costs; $22.4 million, or $14.9 million after-tax, of costs related to debt extinguishment; and $0.7 million, or $0.4 million after-tax, of non-cash unrealized losses on foreign currency contracts. Reconciliations of non-GAAP financial measures used in this release are provided in the attached financial tables.
Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization ("adjusted EBITDA"), a non-GAAP financial measure, improved to $336.7 million for the quarter, excluding $23.2 million of integration and rebranding costs. This compares with $291.1 million of adjusted EBITDA for the same period in 2016, which included the divested North American truckload unit.
For the fourth quarter 2017, the company generated cash flow from operations of $273.9 million and free cash flow of $179.5 million. For full year 2017, the company generated cash flow from operations of $798.6 million and free cash flow of $373.9 million.
The company reaffirmed its full year target for adjusted EBITDA of at least $1.6 billion for 2018.
The company raised its 2017–2018 cumulative free cash flow target to approximately $1 billion, from approximately $900 million.
Bradley Jacobs, chairman and chief executive officer of XPO Logistics, said, “I’m pleased that we beat fourth quarter expectations for revenue, EPS, adjusted EBITDA, cash flow from operations and free cash flow. We generated outsized organic revenue growth of 10.4%, led by gains in freight brokerage, last mile and contract logistics. A strong holiday peak played directly to our strengths in e-commerce.
“In our transportation segment, we grew freight brokerage revenue by 33%, and increased net revenue margin in a tight market. Our North American less-than-truckload unit increased operating income by 44% year-over-year and improved its adjusted operating ratio to 89.9% — the best fourth quarter ratio in 12 years. We expect to improve the ratio by another 100 to 200 basis points in 2018. Globally, in both transportation and logistics, we capitalized on a strong economy in every country where we operate.”
Jacobs continued, "We’ve entered 2018 with a global sales pipeline of $3.2 billion, following a record $2.8 billion of new business signed in 2017. We expect to increase adjusted EBITDA by at least another 17% and deliver about $625 million of free cash flow this year, while investing heavily in technology and sales force effectiveness.”
Fourth Quarter 2017 Results by Segment
- Transportation: The company's transportation segment generated revenue of $2.67 billion in the quarter. This compares with $2.33 billion for the same period in 2016, which included $37.9 million of revenue from the North American truckload unit divested on October 27, 2016. Segment revenue growth was led by increases in North American freight brokerage and last mile, European brokerage and UK dedicated truckload.
Operating income for the transportation segment increased to $132.8 million in the quarter, compared with $84.0 million for the same period in 2016. Adjusted EBITDA for the segment was $258.4 million, an increase of 22% from 2016, which included the divested North American truckload unit. The increases in operating income and adjusted EBITDA were broad-based across the segment, led by improved profitability in North American freight brokerage and European transportation, primarily in France and Spain. Within the North American less-than-truckload unit, the adjusted operating income ratio was 89.9%, compared with 90.5% for the same period in 2016.
- Logistics: The company's logistics segment generated revenue of $1.57 billion for the quarter, compared with $1.38 billion for the same period in 2016. The increase in revenue was led by strong demand for contract logistics in both Europe and North America, partially offset by a decline in managed transportation revenue in North America. In Europe, contract logistics growth was led by a strong peak season for e-commerce, particularly in the UK and Spain. In North America, the largest gains came from the e-commerce and industrial sectors.
Operating income for the logistics segment increased to $60.3 million, compared with $51.2 million for the same period in 2016. Adjusted EBITDA improved to $120.1 million, compared with $108.6 million for the same period in 2016. The increases in operating income and adjusted EBITDA were primarily due to net revenue growth, partially offset by higher direct operating costs related to new contract startups.
- Corporate: Corporate SG&A expense was $55.3 million for the quarter, compared with $48.6 million for the same period in 2016. The increase in corporate expense primarily reflects an increase in share-based compensation expense tied to the increase in the share price of XPO stock.
Full Year 2017 Financial Results
For the full year 2017, the company reported total revenue of $15.38 billion, compared with $14.62 billion for the same period in 2016. Revenue increased year-over-year by $1.19 billion, excluding 2016 revenue of $431.9 million from the North American truckload unit divested in October 2016. Net income attributable to common shareholders was $312.4 million, or $2.45 per diluted share, for 2017, compared with $63.1 million, or $0.53 per diluted share, for 2016.
Adjusted net income attributable to common shareholders for 2017 was $248.5 million, compared with $121.5 million for 2016. Adjusted earnings per diluted share was $1.95 for 2017, compared with $1.00 for 2016. Adjusted net income and adjusted earnings per diluted share for 2017 exclude: $175.4 million of tax benefits related to tax reform and other discrete tax-related adjustments; $78.3 million, or $52.0 million after-tax, of integration and rebranding costs; $49.4 million, or $32.8 million after-tax, of non-cash unrealized losses on foreign currency contracts; and $36.5 million, or $24.3 million after-tax, of costs related to debt extinguishment and conversions of convertible senior notes.
Adjusted EBITDA for the full year 2017 improved to $1.37 billion, excluding $78.3 million of integration and rebranding costs. This compares with $1.25 billion of adjusted EBITDA for the same period in 2016, which included the divested North American truckload unit.
The company will hold a conference call on Thursday, February 8, 2018, at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. Participants can call toll-free (from U.S./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, www.xpo.com/investors. The conference will be archived until March 8, 2018. To access the replay by phone, call toll-free (from U.S./Canada) 1-877-660-6853; international callers dial +1-201-612-7415. Use participant passcode 13675036.
Non-GAAP Financial Measures
This document contains certain non-GAAP financial measures as defined under the rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), including earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization ("EBITDA") and adjusted EBITDA for the three and twelve-month periods ended December 31, 2017 and 2016, on a consolidated basis and for our transportation and logistics segments; free cash flow for the three and twelve-month periods ended December 31, 2017 and 2016; adjusted net income attributable to common shareholders and adjusted earnings per share (basic and diluted) ("adjusted EPS") for the three and twelve-month periods ended December 31, 2017 and 2016; net revenue for the three and twelve-month periods ended December 31, 2017 and 2016 for our transportation and logistics segments; adjusted operating income for our North American less-than-truckload business for the three and twelve-month periods ended December 31, 2017 and 2016; and total organic revenue for the three-month periods ended December 31, 2017 and 2016.
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. In particular, adjusted EBITDA, adjusted net income and adjusted EPS include adjustments for acquisition costs and related integration, transformation and rebranding initiatives as well as other adjustments that management has determined are not reflective of its business segments' core operating activities. Transaction and integration adjustments are generally incremental costs that result from an acquisition and include transaction costs, restructuring costs, acquisition and integration consulting fees, 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. Rebranding adjustments relate primarily to the rebranding of the XPO Logistics name on our truck fleet and buildings. These adjustments are consistent with how management views our businesses. 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 free cash flow is an important measure of our ability to repay maturing debt or fund other uses of capital that we believe will enhance stockholder value. We believe that EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA improve comparability from period to period by removing the impact of our capital structure (interest and financing expenses), asset base (depreciation and amortization), tax impacts and other adjustments as set out in the attached tables that management has determined are not reflective of normalized operating activities.
We believe that adjusted net income attributable to common shareholders and adjusted 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. We believe that net revenue improves the comparability of our operating results from period to period by removing the cost of transportation and services, in particular the cost of fuel, incurred in the reporting period as set out in the attached tables. We believe that adjusted operating income for our North American less-than-truckload business improves the comparability of our operating results from period to period by removing the impact of certain transaction, integration and rebranding costs and amortization and depreciation expenses incurred in the reporting period as set out in the attached tables. We believe that total organic revenue is an important measure because it excludes the impact of the following items: foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations, acquisitions and divestitures, and fuel surcharges. Specifically, our total organic revenue reflects adjustments to (i) exclude revenue from our North American truckload unit, which was sold in October 2016, (ii) exclude the estimated revenue attributable to fuel, and (iii) apply a constant foreign exchange rate to both periods (based on average rates during the monthly periods).
Other companies may calculate EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA differently, and therefore our measure may not be comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies. Free cash flow, EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA, adjusted net income attributable to common shareholders, adjusted EPS, net revenue, adjusted operating income for our North American less-than-truckload business and total organic revenue are not measures of financial performance or liquidity under GAAP and should not be considered in isolation or as an alternative to revenue, net income, operating income for our North American less-than-truckload business, cash flows provided (used) by operating activities and other measures determined in accordance with GAAP. Items excluded from EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA are significant and necessary components of the operations of our business, and, therefore, EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA should only be used as a supplemental measure of our operating performance.
As required by SEC rules, we provide reconciliations of these historical measures to the most directly comparable measure under United States generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP"), which are set forth in the financial tables attached to this document. With respect to our 2018 financial target of adjusted EBITDA, our 2017-2018 cumulative target for free cash flow, our 2018 target for free cash flow and the expected improvement in the adjusted operating ratio of our North American less-than-truckload business, each of which is a non-GAAP measure, a reconciliation of the non-GAAP measure to the corresponding GAAP measure is not available without unreasonable effort due to the variability and complexity of the reconciling items described below that we exclude from the non-GAAP target measure. The variability of these items may have a significant impact on our future GAAP financial results and, as a result, we are unable to prepare the forward-looking balance sheet, statement of income and statement of cash flow, prepared in accordance with GAAP that would be required to produce such a reconciliation.
This document 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, including our financial targets for our consolidated adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow and the adjusted operating ratio of our North American less-than-truckload business. 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. However, the absence of these words does not mean that the statements are not forward-looking. 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: economic conditions generally; competition and pricing pressures; our ability to align our investments in capital assets, including equipment, service centers and warehouses, to our customers' demands; our ability to successfully integrate and realize anticipated synergies, cost savings and profit improvement opportunities with respect to acquired companies; our ability to develop and implement suitable information technology systems and prevent failures in or breaches of such systems; our substantial indebtedness; our ability to raise debt and equity capital; our ability to maintain positive relationships with our network of third-party transportation providers; our ability to attract and retain qualified drivers; litigation, including litigation related to alleged misclassification of independent contractors; labor matters, including our ability to manage our subcontractors, and risks associated with labor disputes at our customers and efforts by labor organizations to organize our employees; risks associated with our self-insured claims; risks associated with defined benefit plans for our current and former employees; fluctuations in currency exchange rates; fluctuations in fixed and floating interest rates; our ability to execute our growth strategy through acquisitions; fuel price and fuel surcharge changes; issues related to our intellectual property rights; governmental regulation, including trade compliance laws; and governmental or political actions, including the United Kingdom's likely exit from the European Union. All forward-looking statements set forth in this document 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 document speak only as of the date hereof, and we do not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances, changes in expectations or the occurrence of unanticipated events, except to the extent required by law.