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UTi Worldwide Profit Drops, Yet Tops Estimate - Update

Logistics company UTi Worldwide Inc. (UTIW), Thursday reported a drop in fourth-quarter profit, due mainly to one-time severance and impairment charges. Nonetheless, earnings for the quarter topped Street estimates, while revenue fell short of expectations.

UTi Worldwide's revenue for the quarter edged up 0.7 percent from last year, mainly on higher contract logistics and distribution activity, growth in ocean volumes and higher fuel surcharges. But results were partly hurt by a strong U.S. dollar and lower volumes in air freight.

Excluding purchased transportation costs, net revenue for the quarter was up 0.5 percent, reflecting higher revenue per unit of cargo in freight forwarding.

The company reported fourth-quarter net income of $12.4 million or $0.12 per share, compared to $14.5 million or $0.14 per share last year.

Excluding items, adjusted earnings for the quarter were $20.3 million or $0.20 per share. On average, 14 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $0.16 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Revenue for the quarter was $1.153 billion, compared to $1.145 billion last year. Analysts expected revenue of $1.20 billion for the quarter.

Looking ahead to the full year, the company said volumes are likely to remain soft for the first half, while a modest pickup is expected in the latter half.

UTIW is trading at $16.70, up $0.70 or 4.38%, on the Nasdaq. In the past year, the company's stock ranged between $11.94 and $24.05.

by RTT Staff Writer

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