June 15, 2018

U.S. Xpress goes public at $16 per share, below initial projected range

Shares trade unchanged on first day as public company.

By DC Velocity Staff

Shares of truckload and logistics carrier U.S. Xpress Enterprises Inc. closed unchanged yesterdayin its first day of trading after its initial offering was priced at $16 a share, below the original range of $18 to 20 a share.

Shares of the Chattanooga-based company ended trading on the New York Stock Exchange at $16.68 a share. Nearly 18.1 million shares were offered, with the company selling 16.68 million shares and the founding families selling 1.38 million shares. The company expects to raise $250 million from the offering, after expenses. The individual shareholders seek to receive about $22 million.

According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, U.S. Xpress generated more than $1.5 billion in operating revenue in 2017. It posted operating income of $28.6 million, up nearly $1 million from 2016 levels. It posted a $3.9 million net loss last year, better than the $15.9 million net loss reported in 2016. Its net interest expense in 2017 was more than $49 million. The company hopes to use part of the IPO proceeds to pay down debt.

As a private company, U.S. Xpress has never disclosed specific financial results. It has said previously that it is the fifth-largest truckload carrier, by revenue, in the U.S.

The IPO comes during a solid upcycle for truckload carriers, buoyed by solid demand and higher rates. U.S. Xpress said that revenue in the first quarter, a period when rates soared, rose 17 percent from the year-earlier quarter. First-quarter operating income was $14.8 million, which was about half of the operating income reported in all of 2017.

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