Reports double-digit year-over-year growth in revenue and operating income for the fourth quarter
Provides 2021 guidance for 24% to 29% year-over-year growth in adjusted EBITDA to $1.725 billion to $1.8 billion
XPO Logistics, Inc. (NYSE: XPO) today announced its financial results for the fourth quarter 2020. Revenue increased to $4.67 billion, compared with $4.14 billion for the fourth quarter 2019. Net income attributable to common shareholders was $93 million, compared with $96 million for the fourth quarter 2019. Operating income was $228 million, compared with $202 million for the fourth quarter 2019. Diluted earnings per share was $0.91, compared with $0.93 for the fourth quarter 2019.
Adjusted net income attributable to common shareholders, a non-GAAP financial measure, was $121 million for the fourth quarter 2020, compared with $115 million for the same period in 2019. Adjusted diluted earnings per share, a non-GAAP financial measure, was $1.19 for the fourth quarter 2020, compared with $1.12 for the same period in 2019.
Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (“adjusted EBITDA”), a non-GAAP financial measure, was $449 million for the fourth quarter 2020, compared with $432 million for the same period in 2019.
For the fourth quarter 2020, the company generated $193 million of cash flow from operations and $91 million of free cash flow, a non-GAAP financial measure. For the full year 2020, the company generated cash flow from operations of $885 million and free cash flow of $554 million.
Reconciliations of non-GAAP financial measures used in this release are provided in the attached financial tables.
The company issued the following full-year 2021 targets:
- Adjusted EBITDA of $1.725 billion to $1.8 billion, an increase of 24% to 29% year-over-year;
- Depreciation and amortization of $780 million to $800 million;
- Interest expense of $275 million to $285 million;
- Effective tax rate of 24% to 26%; and
- Adjusted diluted EPS of $5.10 to $5.85, excluding amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets.*
With respect to 2021 cash flows, the company issued the following targets:
- Gross capital expenditures of $625 million to $675 million;
- Net capital expenditures of $475 million to $525 million; and
- Free cash flow of $600 million to $700 million.
* The company will present adjusted net income and adjusted diluted EPS excluding the amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets, starting with 2021 reporting. In 2021, amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets is estimated to be $145 million.
The company’s 2021 guidance excludes impacts associated with the planned spin-off of the logistics segment previously announced; and assumes 113 million diluted shares outstanding.
Brad Jacobs, chairman and chief executive officer of XPO Logistics, said, “Our fourth quarter revenue, earnings and free cash flow were all much better than expected. The investments we made in our people and technology in 2020 helped us to generate the highest revenue of any quarter in our history. We also doubled our truck brokerage net revenue year-over-year, and we improved our fourth quarter LTL adjusted operating ratio, excluding real estate gains, for the sixth straight year. The industry’s biggest tailwinds are at our back in 2021 — e-commerce fulfillment and returns, supply chain outsourcing and fast-growing customer demand for our digital capabilities.”
Jacobs continued, “Our 2021 guidance anticipates adjusted EBITDA of $1.725 billion to $1.8 billion, reflecting year-over-year growth of 24% to 29% in each of our segments.”
As of December 31, 2020, the company had access to approximately $3.1 billion of total liquidity, including $2.1 billion of cash and cash equivalents and $1.0 billion of available borrowing capacity.
Fourth Quarter 2020 Results by Segment
- Transportation: The company’s transportation segment generated revenue of $2.94 billion for the fourth quarter 2020, compared with $2.60 billion for the same period in 2019.
Operating income for the transportation segment was $200 million for the fourth quarter 2020, compared with $173 million for the same period in 2019. Adjusted EBITDA for the segment was $331 million for the quarter, compared with $306 million for the same period in 2019. The increases in operating income and adjusted EBITDA were related primarily to higher profitability in truck brokerage and in LTL, with gains from LTL real estate sales excluded. Segment operating income and adjusted EBITDA for the quarter include a $6 million impact from COVID-related costs.
In North American less-than-truckload (LTL), the fourth quarter operating ratio was 84.9% and the adjusted operating ratio was 83.0%, both of which include the impact of $5 million of COVID-related costs. Excluding gains from sales of real estate, LTL adjusted operating ratio improved 130 basis points year-over-year to 84.5%.
In North American truck brokerage, revenue increased by 75.5% year-over-year to $616 million for the fourth quarter 2020, compared with $351 million for the same period in 2019. Net revenue increased 110.0% year-over-year to $115 million for the quarter, compared with $54 million for the same period in 2019.
- Logistics: The company’s logistics segment generated revenue of $1.76 billion for the fourth quarter 2020, compared with $1.56 billion for the same period in 2019. Segment revenue growth was led by strong demand from e-commerce and other consumer-related verticals, partially offset by COVID-related impacts.
Logistics segment operating income was $68 million for the fourth quarter 2020, compared with $73 million for the same period in 2019. Adjusted EBITDA was $152 million for the quarter, compared with $163 million for the same period in 2019. The decreases in operating income and adjusted EBITDA were primarily related to a spike in labor costs due to record e-commerce peak demand, as well as start-up costs for new contracts won, partially offset by higher revenue from contracts won in prior periods. Segment operating income and adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter 2020 include a $4 million impact from COVID-related costs.
- Corporate: Corporate expense was $40 million for the fourth quarter 2020, compared with $44 million for the same period in 2019. Adjusted EBITDA was an expense of $34 million for the fourth quarter, compared with an expense of $37 million for the same period in 2019.
In December 2020, the company announced that it plans to pursue a spin-off of its logistics segment as a separate publicly traded company. If the transaction is completed as planned, it will create two, pure-play industry leaders: the spun-off company will be the second largest contract logistics provider in the world, and the remaining company will be a global provider of less-than-truckload and truck brokerage transportation services. There can be no assurance that a spin-off will occur or, if one does occur, of its terms or timing.
In January 2021, the company completed the previously announced acquisition of the majority of the contract logistics operations of Kuehne + Nagel in the UK and Ireland. The transaction expanded XPO’s logistics network in the UK and Ireland to 248 locations and approximately 31,000 employees.
In January 2021, the company redeemed $1.2 billion of Senior Notes due 2022, using available cash, at a price of 100% of the principal amount plus accrued and unpaid interest.
Full Year 2020 Financial Results
For the full year 2020, the company reported total revenue of $16.25 billion, compared with $16.65 billion for 2019. Net income attributable to common shareholders was $79 million for 2020, compared with $379 million for 2019. Operating income was $391 million for 2020, compared with $821 million for 2019. Diluted earnings per share was $0.78 for 2020, compared with $3.57 for 2019. Adjusted EBITDA for the full year 2020 was $1.4 billion, compared with $1.7 billion for 2019.
Fourth quarter and full-year 2020 net income attributable to common shareholders and diluted EPS include a charge of $22 million related to the conversion of 69,445 shares of the company’s outstanding Series A preferred stock into common stock in the fourth quarter. The conversion charge reduces net income attributable to common shareholders for EPS purposes but does not affect net income.
The company will hold a conference call on Thursday, February 11, 2021, 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 11, 2021. 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 13715003.
About XPO Logistics
XPO Logistics, Inc. (NYSE: XPO) provides cutting-edge supply chain solutions to the most successful companies in the world. The company is the second largest contract logistics provider and the second largest freight broker globally, and a top three less-than-truckload provider in North America. XPO uses a highly integrated network of 1,629 locations and over 100,000 employees in 30 countries to help more than 50,000 customers manage their supply chains most efficiently. The company’s corporate headquarters are in Greenwich, Conn., USA, and its European headquarters are in Lyon, France. Visit xpo.com for more information, and connect with XPO on Facebook, Twitter, 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 release.
XPO’s non-GAAP financial measures for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2020 and 2019 used in this release include: earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization ("EBITDA"), adjusted EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA margin on a consolidated basis and for our transportation and logistics segments as well as EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA for corporate; free cash flow; adjusted net income attributable to common shareholders and adjusted earnings per share (basic and diluted) ("adjusted EPS"); net revenue and net revenue margin for our transportation segment, including net revenue for our North American truck brokerage business; and adjusted operating income, adjusted operating ratio, adjusted EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA margin for our North American less-than-truckload business.
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 net income attributable to common shareholders and adjusted EPS 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, retention awards, and 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 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 calculate free cash flow as adjusted net cash provided by operating activities, less payment for purchases of property and equipment plus proceeds from sale of property and equipment, with adjusted net cash provided by operating activities defined as net cash provided by operating activities plus cash collected on deferred purchase price receivables. We believe that EBITDA, 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), 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 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 and net revenue margin improve 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 and adjusted operating ratio for our North American less-than-truckload business improve the comparability of our operating results from period to period by (i) removing the impact of certain transaction and integration and restructuring costs, as well as amortization expenses and (ii) including the impact of pension income incurred in the reporting period as set out in the attached tables.
With respect to our full year 2021 financial targets for adjusted EBITDA, adjusted diluted EPS and free cash flow, a reconciliation of these non-GAAP measures to the corresponding GAAP measures is not available without unreasonable effort due to the variability and complexity of the reconciling items described above that we exclude from these non-GAAP target measures. 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 statement of income and statement of cash flows prepared in accordance with GAAP that would be required to produce such a reconciliation.
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, including the company’s full year 2021 financial targets for adjusted EBITDA, depreciation and amortization, interest expense, effective tax rate, adjusted diluted EPS, gross capital expenditures, net capital expenditures and free cash flow. 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; the severity, magnitude, duration and aftereffects of the COVID-19 pandemic and government responses to the COVID-19 pandemic; our ability to align our investments in capital assets, including equipment, service centers and warehouses, to our customers' demands; our ability to implement our cost and revenue initiatives; our ability to successfully integrate and realize anticipated synergies, cost savings and profit improvement opportunities with respect to acquired companies; matters related to our intellectual property rights; fluctuations in currency exchange rates; fuel price and fuel surcharge changes; natural disasters, terrorist attacks or similar incidents; risks and uncertainties regarding the potential timing and expected benefits of the proposed spin-off of our logistics segment, including final approval for the proposed spin-off and the risk that the spin-off may not be completed on the terms or timeline currently contemplated, if at all; the impact of the proposed spin-off on the size and business diversity of our company; the ability of the proposed spin-off to qualify for tax-free treatment for U.S. federal income tax purposes; 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; fluctuations in fixed and floating interest rates; our ability to maintain positive relationships with our network of third-party transportation providers; our ability to attract and retain qualified drivers; 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; litigation, including litigation related to alleged misclassification of independent contractors and securities class actions; risks associated with our self-insured claims; risks associated with defined benefit plans for our current and former employees; and governmental regulation, including trade compliance laws, as well as changes in international trade policies and tax regimes; governmental or political actions, including the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union; 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 to reflect subsequent events or circumstances, changes in expectations or the occurrence of unanticipated events, except to the extent required by law.