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Hub Group, Inc. Reports First Quarter 2021 Results


  • Strong freight market conditions and continued growth with strategic customers led to 10% revenue growth in the quarter despite weather challenges in February
  • Revenue growth and focus on operating efficiency resulted in first quarter net income of $17 million or $0.51 of diluted earnings per share
  • Generated EBITDA (non-GAAP)1 of $56 million in the quarter, with over $226 million in cash and cash equivalents at quarter end
  • Celebrated our 50th anniversary on April 19th

OAK BROOK, Ill., May 05, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Hub Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:HUBG) announced first quarter 2021 net income of $17.2 million, or diluted earnings per share of $0.51. Net income for first quarter 2020 was $13.2 million, or $0.40 per diluted share.  

“Strong freight market conditions, growth with our strategic customers, and our focus on providing a world-class customer experience resulted in 10% revenue growth in the quarter. Hub Group is well positioned for 2021 and beyond due to demand in the marketplace for high service levels and cost-effective solutions. In April we celebrated our 50th anniversary, and I want to thank all who have been part of this outstanding accomplishment, including our customers, employees, drivers, vendors, and carriers. We are excited about the future and look forward to the next 50 years,” said Dave Yeager, Hub Group’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.  

Q1 2021 Results

Revenue for the first quarter of 2021 increased by 10% to $920 million compared with $839 million for the first quarter of 2020. Operating income for the quarter was $24 million versus $20 million for the first quarter of 2020. Revenue growth in the first quarter, combined with our ongoing focus on cost control, led to EBITDA1 (non-GAAP) of $56 million.

First quarter intermodal revenue increased 6% to $506 million due to a 2% increase in volume and a 4% increase in revenue per load. We estimate that winter storms impacted our volume growth by approximately 600 basis points. Intermodal gross margin declined compared to the prior year due to increased purchased transportation costs, the impact of winter storms and higher equipment repositioning costs, partially offset by volume growth and higher prices.  

First quarter logistics revenue increased 8% to $217 million due to growth of our retail supplier solutions services and the addition of NonstopDelivery (“NSD”), partially offset by the impact of lost customers. Gross margin increased due to actions we have taken to drive improved profitability, higher revenue and the acquisition of NSD, partially offset by higher warehousing costs.

Truck brokerage revenue grew 30% in the quarter to $127 million despite a 6% decline in volume. Contractual freight represented 51% of total brokerage volume in the first quarter of 2021 as compared to 64% in 2020. Truck brokerage gross margin increased relative to first quarter 2020 due to revenue per load growth in both contractual and transactional freight, partially offset by the impact of higher purchased transportation costs.

Dedicated revenue increased 11% compared to the prior year to $69 million due to growth from existing and new customers, partially offset by the impact of business we exited. Dedicated gross margin increased primarily due to our profit improvement actions and growth in revenue, partially offset by higher driver costs.

Costs and expenses decreased slightly to $85 million in the first quarter of 2021 due primarily to lower professional fees, higher gains on the sale of equipment and a reduction in travel expense, partially offset by increased costs resulting from the acquisition of NSD and an increase in salaries and benefits expense related to variable compensation.

Capital expenditures for the first quarter of 2021 totaled $10 million. At March 31, 2021, we had cash and cash equivalents of $226 million.

2021 Outlook

We expect that our 2021 diluted earnings per share will range from $3.20 to $3.40. We estimate revenue will grow in the mid-teens percentage range for 2021, and that gross margin as a percentage of revenue will range from 12.5% to 13.0%. We estimate our costs and expenses will range from $365 million to $380 million for the year. We project our effective tax rate for 2021 will range from 24% to 25%.

We expect capital expenditures for fiscal year 2021 to range from $165 to $175 million and primarily consist of investments to support growth in the business, including containers, tractors and technology. For 2021 we expect to add 3,000 containers, which will result in net growth of approximately 2,750 after retirements of containers that have reached end of life. We are also planning to add approximately 700 tractors to replace older units and support growth in our drayage and dedicated fleets.

Non-GAAP Financial Measure

In this press release, we present EBITDA, a non-GAAP financial measure defined as earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. As required by the rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), we have provided herein a reconciliation of the non-GAAP financial measure contained in this press release to the most directly comparable measure under GAAP. Management believes that EBITDA provides relevant and useful information, which is used by our management as well as by many analysts, investors and competitors in our industry. By providing this non-GAAP measure, management intends to provide investors with a meaningful, consistent comparison of the Company’s profitability for the periods presented. EBITDA should be viewed in addition to, and not as an alternative to or substitute for, measures determined in accordance with GAAP, and is not necessarily comparable to non-GAAP measures that may be presented by other companies.   


Hub Group, Inc. will hold a conference call at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on May 5, 2021 to discuss our first quarter 2021 results.

Hosting the conference call will be Dave Yeager, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Also participating on the call will be Phil Yeager, President and Chief Operating Officer, and Geoff DeMartino, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer.

This call is being webcast and can be accessed through the Investors link on Hub Group’s web site at The webcast is listen-only. Those interested in participating in the question and answer session should follow the telephone dial-in instructions below.

To participate in the conference call by telephone, please register at:

Registrants will be issued a passcode and PIN to use when dialing into the live call which will provide quickest access to the conference. You may register at any time, including up to and after the call start time. On the day of the call, dial (888) 206-4064 approximately ten minutes prior to the scheduled call time; enter the participant passcode and PIN received during registration. The call will be limited to 60 minutes, including questions and answers.

An audio replay will be available through the Investors link on the Company’s web site at This replay will be available for 30 days.

CERTAIN FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS: Statements in this press release that are not historical may express or imply projections of revenues or expenditures, statements of plans and objectives or future operations or statements of future economic performance. Forward-looking statements are inherently uncertain and subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that might cause the actual performance of Hub Group, Inc. to differ materially from those expressed or implied by this discussion and, therefore, should be viewed with caution. All forward-looking statements and information are provided pursuant to the safe harbor established under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and should be evaluated in the context of these factors. Forward-looking statements generally may be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “trends”, “assumptions”, “target”, “guidance”, “outlook”, “opportunity”, “future”, “plans”, “goals”, “objectives”, “expects”, “anticipate”, “expected”, “may”, “will”, “would”, “could”, “intend”, “believe”, “potential”, “projected”, “estimate” (or the negative or derivative of each of these terms), or similar words, and include our statements regarding our outlook, profit improvement initiatives and capital expenditures. These forward-looking statements are based on management’s experience and perception of trends, current conditions, and anticipated future developments, as well as other factors believed to be appropriate. We believe these statements and the assumptions and estimates contained in this release are reasonable based on information that is currently available to us. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include general or regional economic conditions and health concerns; the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, including on our business operations, as well as its impact on general economic and financial market conditions and on our customers, counterparties, employees and third-party service providers; our ability to sustain or the effects of plans intended to improve operational execution and performance; changes in or implementation of governmental or regulatory rules and interpretations affecting tax, wage and hour matters, health and safety, labor and employment, insurance or other undeterminable areas; intermodal costs and prices, the integration of NSD and any other acquisitions and expenses relating thereto; the future performance of Hub’s Intermodal, Truck Brokerage, Dedicated and Logistics business lines; driver shortages; the amount and timing of strategic investments or divestitures by Hub; the failure to implement and integrate critical information technology systems; cyber security incidents, retail and other customers encountering adverse economic conditions and other factors described from time to time in Hub Group’s SEC reports, press releases and other communications. Hub Group assumes no liability to update any such forward-looking statements.  

SOURCE:  Hub Group, Inc.         

See the “Non-GAAP Financial Measure” section of this release for the definition of EBITDA and a discussion of this non-GAAP financial measure.

(in thousands, except per share amounts)  
        Three Months Ended March 31,  
          2021     2020  
          % of     % of  
        Amount Revenue   Amount Revenue  
Revenue $ 919,553   100.0%   $ 838,859   100.0%  
Transportation costs   810,806   88.2%     734,265   87.5%  
  Gross margin   108,747   11.8%     104,594   12.5%  
Costs and expenses:            
  Salaries and benefits   56,951   6.2%     50,876   6.1%  
  General and administrative   19,243   2.1%     26,336   3.1%  
  Depreciation and amortization   8,502   0.9%     7,623   0.9%  
    Total costs and expenses   84,696   9.2%     84,835   10.1%  
Operating income   24,051   2.6%     19,759   2.4%  
Other income (expense):            
  Interest expense, net   (1,904 ) -0.2%     (2,052 ) -0.3%  
  Other, net   (93 ) -0.0%     (222 ) -0.0%  
    Total other expense   (1,997 ) -0.2%     (2,274 ) -0.3%  
Income before provision for income taxes   22,054   2.4%     17,485   2.1%  
Provision for income taxes   4,824   0.5%     4,249   0.5%  
Net income $ 17,230       $ 13,236      
Earnings per share            
  Basic $ 0.52       $ 0.40      
  Diluted $ 0.51       $ 0.40      
Basic weighted average number of shares outstanding   33,419         33,159      
Diluted weighted average number of shares outstanding   33,775         33,488      
(in thousands, except share data)  
          March 31,   December 31,  
            2021       2020    
    Cash and cash equivalents $ 226,264     $ 124,506    
    Accounts receivable trade,net   507,377       518,975    
    Accounts receivable other   3,364       1,265    
    Prepaid taxes   985       1,336    
    Prepaid expenses and other current assets   17,898       26,753    
        TOTAL CURRENT ASSETS   755,888       672,835    
  Restricted investments   21,735       23,353    
  Property and equipment, net   641,858       671,101    
  Right-of-use assets – operating leases   42,859       43,573    
  Right-of-use assets – financing leases   2,973       3,557    
  Other intangibles, net   150,857       163,953    
  Goodwill, net   520,592       508,555    
  Other assets   18,005       18,469    
        TOTAL ASSETS $ 2,154,767     $ 2,105,396    
    Accounts payable trade $ 317,798     $ 285,320    
    Accounts payable other   17,019       12,680    
    Accrued payroll   33,395       23,044    
    Accrued other   111,942       102,613    
    Lease liability – operating leases   10,233       10,093    
    Lease liability – financing leases   1,023       1,793    
    Current portion of long term debt   89,531       93,562    
        TOTAL CURRENT LIABILITIES   580,941       529,105    
  Long term debt   154,341       176,797    
  Non-current liabilities   41,085       42,910    
  Lease liability – operating leases   35,037       36,328    
  Lease liability – financing leases   6       8    
  Deferred taxes   166,856       162,325    
    Preferred stock, $.01 par value; 2,000,000 shares authorized;        
      no shares issued or outstanding in 2021 and 2020            
    Common stock        
      Class A: $.01 par value; 97,337,700 shares authorized and        
        41,224,792 shares issued in 2021 and 2020; 33,755,036 shares        
        outstanding in 2021 and 33,549,708 shares outstanding in 2020   412       412    
      Class B: $.01 par value; 662,300 shares authorized;        
        662,296 shares issued and outstanding in 2021 and 2020   7       7    
    Additional paid-in capital   182,005       186,058    
    Purchase price in excess of predecessor basis, net of tax        
     benefit of $10,306   (15,458 )     (15,458 )  
    Retained earnings   1,270,390       1,253,160    
    Accumulated other comprehensive loss   (201 )     (191 )  
    Treasury stock; at cost, 7,469,756 shares in 2021        
      and 7,675,084 shares in 2020   (260,654 )     (266,065 )  
      TOTAL STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY   1,176,501       1,157,923    
        TOTAL LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY $ 2,154,767     $ 2,105,396    
(in thousands)
          Three Months Ended March 31,
            2021       2020  
Cash flows from operating activities:      
  Net income $ 17,230     $ 13,236  
  Adjustments to reconcile net income      
    to net cash provided by operating activities:      
      Depreciation and amortization   32,111       30,576  
      Deferred taxes   4,325       696  
      Compensation expense related to share-based compensation plans   5,117       4,097  
      (Gain) loss on sale of assets   (1,924 )     121  
      Other operating activities         240  
  Changes in operating assets and liabilities, net of acquisitions:      
      Restricted investments   1,618       4,409  
      Accounts receivable, net   8,389       (9,480 )
      Prepaid taxes   350       (50 )
      Prepaid expenses and other current assets   8,825       9,054  
      Other assets   (189 )     (477 )
      Accounts payable   36,820       19,657  
      Accrued expenses   18,695       (28,551 )
      Non-current liabilities   (3,994 )     (2,875 )
        Net cash provided by operating activities   127,373       40,653  
Cash flows from investing activities:      
  Proceeds from sale of equipment   14,933       497  
  Purchases of property and equipment   (9,522 )     (25,467 )
        Net cash provided by (used in) investing activities   5,411       (24,970 )
Cash flows from financing activities:      
  Repayments of long term debt   (33,381 )     (24,373 )
  Stock withheld for payments of withholding taxes   (3,759 )     (3,769 )
  Finance lease payments   (772 )     (747 )
  Proceeds from issuance of debt   6,894       121,444  
        Net cash (used in) provided by financing activities   (31,018 )     92,555  
  Effect of exchange rate changes on cash and cash equivalents   (8 )     (87 )
Net increase in cash and cash equivalents   101,758       108,151  
Cash and cash equivalents beginning of period   124,506       168,729  
Cash and cash equivalents end of period $ 226,264     $ 276,880  
(in thousands)
  Three Months  
  Ended March 31,  
    2021     2020  
Intermodal $ 506,004   $ 478,034  
Logistics   217,035     200,202  
Truck brokerage   127,262     98,017  
Dedicated   69,252     62,606  
Total Revenue $ 919,553   $ 838,859  
(in thousands)
  Three Months  
  Ended March 31,  
          Change   Change  
    2021     2020   $   %  
Net income $ 17,230   $ 13,236   $ 3,994     30.2%  
Interest expense   1,905     2,455     (550 )   -22.4%  
Depreciation and amortization   32,111     30,576     1,535     5.0%  
Provision for income taxes   4,824     4,249     575     13.5%  
EBITDA $ 56,070   $ 50,516   $ 5,554     11.0%  

1 See the “Non-GAAP Financial Measure” section of this release for the definition of EBITDA and a discussion of this non-GAAP financial measure.

CONTACT: Maralee Volchko of Hub Group, Inc., +1-630-271-3745

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