CNF Reports Falling First-Quarter Earnings

Trucking and shipping firm CNF Inc., Palo Alto, CA, reported yesterday that its first-quarter earnings fell almost 60 percent, as expected, because of the softening U.S. economy.

First-quarter 2001 net income was $13.5 million, compared with net income of $33.4 million in first quarter 2000, which included the effects of an accounting change.

First-quarter 2001 operating income was $33.7 million, compared with $71.5 million in the same quarter a year ago. Revenue for first quarter 2001 was $1.28 billion compared with $1.32 billion in first quarter 2000.

“All of CNF's businesses were affected by the continuing downturn in the U.S. economy,” said Gregory L. Quesnel, president/CEO.

CNF's Emery Worldwide subsidiary, the air express carrier, until recently helped the U.S. Postal Service deliver Priority Mail packages.

Emery reported a $6.5 million first-quarter operating loss, compared with operating income of $6.8 million in the same quarter a year ago. Revenue totaled $583.2 million, down 2 percent from the prior-year period.

“The decline in air freight business for Emery's North America segment has been steep and significant. The decline is primarily attributable to the economy,” Quesnel said.

“Emery is focusing on managing its cost structure to meet the challenges presented by the current economy and is considering alternatives for solving the longer-term issues facing the company,” he said.

According to CNF, volume at Emery has deteriorated this year more steeply each month through April. The company sees no evidence that this trend is changing. If it continues, the company expects Emery to report a larger loss for the second quarter.

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