Trucking company Heartland Express Inc. /zigman2/quotes/204111335/composite HTLD +1.03% reported Thursday fourth-quarter profit that matched expectations but revenue that fell short, amid an "extremely challenging" environment for hiring and retaining drivers. Net income rose to $20.3 million, or 26 cents a share, from $17.7 million, or 22 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The FactSet consensus was 26 cents. Revenue fell 4.9% to $148.1 million, below the FactSet consensus of $152.8 million. Operating expenses declined 7.9% to $121.6 million, as salaries, wages and benefits costs fell 6.8% to $59.6 million. The company said it implemented "creative compensation packages and driving opportunities" to better attract and retain drivers. For 2022, the company expects demand to remain strong, and increasing costs to lift freight rates throughout the year as supply chain challenges are expected to continue. The stock, which was still inactive in premarket trading, has lost 4.9% over the past three months, while the Dow Jones Transportation Average /zigman2/quotes/210598063/delayed DJT +0.10% has tacked on 0.8% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +1.00% has slipped 1.6%.
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