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Oct. 28, 2020, 8:25 a.m. EDT

Ryder swings to profit, revenue beats views

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By Dave Sebastian

Ryder System Inc. turned a profit for the third quarter as it saw improvement in parts of its business that were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The company on Wednesday posted a profit of $35.8 million, or 68 cents a share, compared with a loss of $91.5 million, or $1.75 a share, in the same quarter last year. Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting a loss of 38 cents a share.

Revenue fell 3% to $2.15 billion due to lower fuel revenue. Analysts were looking for $2 billion.

Revenue in the fleet-management service, its largest business, fell 7% to $1.3 billion due to a 16% decrease in commercial rental revenue from lower demand. Supply-chain revenue grew 11% to $685 million due to new business and higher pricing due to Covid-19-related freight increases in consumer packaged goods, returning to pre-pandemic levels. The company's dedicated transportation service's revenue fell 17% to $300 million.

Ryder said used vehicle sales benefited from higher volume and prices.

The company expects to record free cash flow of $1.4 billion to $1.5 billion for the year, Chairman and Chief Executive Robert Sanchez said.

"Looking ahead to the fourth quarter, we anticipate returns in supply chain and dedicated to moderate, reflecting seasonality and lower Covid-related activity, and to be within their target ranges for the full year," Mr. Sanchez said.

Write to Dave Sebastian at dave.sebastian@wsj.com

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