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LSTR > SEC Filings for LSTR > Form 10-Q on 2-Nov-2012All Recent SEC Filings

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Form 10-Q for LANDSTAR SYSTEM INC


2-Nov-2012

Quarterly Report


Item 2. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

The following discussion should be read in conjunction with the attached interim consolidated financial statements and notes thereto, and with the Company's audited financial statements and notes thereto for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011 and Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations included in the 2011 Annual Report on Form 10-K.

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

The following is a "safe harbor" statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Statements contained in this document that are not based on historical facts are "forward-looking statements." This Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations and other sections of this Form 10-Q contain forward-looking statements, such as statements which relate to Landstar's business objectives, plans, strategies and expectations. Terms such as "anticipates," "believes," "estimates," "expects," "plans," "predicts," "may," "should," "could," "will," the negative thereof and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such statements are by nature subject to uncertainties and risks, including but not limited to: an increase in the frequency or severity of accidents or other claims; unfavorable development of existing accident claims; dependence on third party insurance companies; dependence on independent commission sales agents; dependence on third party capacity providers; decreased demand for transportation services; substantial industry competition; disruptions or failures in our computer systems; dependence on key vendors; changes in fuel taxes; status of independent contractors; regulatory and legislative changes; catastrophic loss of a Company facility; acquired businesses;


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intellectual property; doing business with the federal government; and other operational, financial or legal risks or uncertainties detailed in Landstar's Form 10-K for the 2011 fiscal year, described in Item 1A "Risk Factors", this report or in Landstar's other Securities and Exchange Commission filings from time to time. These risks and uncertainties could cause actual results or events to differ materially from historical results or those anticipated. Investors should not place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements and the Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements.

Introduction

Landstar System, Inc. and its subsidiary, Landstar System Holdings, Inc. (together, referred to herein as "Landstar" or the "Company"), is a non-asset based provider of freight transportation services and supply chain solutions. The Company offers services to its customers across multiple transportation modes, with the ability to arrange for individual shipments of freight to enterprise-wide solutions to manage all of a customer's transportation and logistics needs. Landstar provides services principally throughout the United States and to a lesser extent in Canada, and between the United States and Canada, Mexico and other countries around the world. The Company's services emphasize safety, information coordination and customer service and are delivered through a network of independent commission sales agents and third party capacity providers linked together by a series of technological applications which are provided and coordinated by the Company. Landstar markets its freight transportation services and supply chain solutions primarily through independent commission sales agents and exclusively utilizes third party capacity providers to transport and store customers' freight. The nature of the Company's business is such that a significant portion of its operating costs varies directly with revenue.

Landstar markets its freight transportation services and supply chain solutions primarily through independent commission sales agents who enter into contractual arrangements with the Company and are responsible for locating freight, making that freight available to Landstar's capacity providers and coordinating the transportation of the freight with customers and capacity providers. The Company's third party capacity providers consist of independent contractors who provide truck capacity to the Company under exclusive lease arrangements (the "BCO Independent Contractors"), unrelated trucking companies who provide truck capacity to the Company under non-exclusive contractual arrangements (the "Truck Brokerage Carriers"), air cargo carriers, ocean cargo carriers, railroads and independent warehouse capacity providers ("Warehouse Capacity Owners"). Through this network of agents and capacity providers linked together by Landstar's information technology systems, Landstar operates a transportation services and supply chain solutions business primarily throughout North America with revenue of $2.6 billion during the most recently completed fiscal year. The Company reports the results of two operating segments: the transportation logistics segment and the insurance segment.

The transportation logistics segment provides a wide range of transportation services and supply chain solutions. Transportation services offered by the Company include truckload and less-than-truckload transportation, rail intermodal, air cargo, ocean cargo, expedited ground and air delivery of time-critical freight, heavy-haul/specialized, U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico cross-border, project cargo and customs brokerage. Supply chain solutions are based on advanced technology solutions utilizing intellectual property that may be owned by the Company or licensed from third parties. Such solutions as offered by the Company may include integrated multi-modal solutions, outsourced logistics, supply chain engineering and warehousing. Industries serviced by the transportation logistics segment include automotive products, paper, lumber and building products, metals, chemicals, foodstuffs, heavy machinery, retail, electronics, ammunition and explosives and military equipment. In addition, the transportation logistics segment provides transportation services to other transportation companies, including logistics and less-than-truckload service providers. Each of the independent commission sales agents has the opportunity to market all of the services provided by the transportation logistics segment. Freight transportation services are typically charged to customers on a per shipment basis for the physical transportation of freight. Supply chain solution customers are generally charged fees for the services provided. Revenue recognized by the transportation logistics segment when providing capacity to customers to haul their freight is referred to herein as "transportation services revenue" and revenue for freight management services recognized on a fee-for-service basis is referred to herein as "transportation management fees." During the thirty nine weeks ended September 29, 2012, transportation services revenue hauled by BCO Independent Contractors, Truck Brokerage Carriers and railroads represented 51%, 43% and 2%, respectively, of the Company's transportation logistics segment revenue. Collectively, transportation services revenue hauled by air and ocean carriers represented 3% of the Company's transportation logistics segment revenue in the thirty-nine-week period ended September 29, 2012. Transportation management fees represented 1% of the Company's transportation logistics segment revenue in the thirty-nine-week period ended September 29, 2012.

The insurance segment is comprised of Signature Insurance Company, a wholly owned offshore insurance subsidiary, and Risk Management Claim Services, Inc. This segment provides risk and claims management services to certain of Landstar's operating subsidiaries. In addition, it reinsures certain risks of the Company's BCO Independent Contractors and provides certain property and casualty insurance directly to certain of Landstar's operating subsidiaries. Revenue at the insurance segment represents reinsurance premiums from third party insurance companies that provide insurance programs to BCO Independent Contractors where all or a portion of the risk of loss is borne by the Company. Revenue at the insurance segment represented approximately 1% of the Company's consolidated revenue for the thirty nine weeks ended September 29, 2012.


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Changes in Financial Condition and Results of Operations

Management believes the Company's success principally depends on its ability to generate freight through its network of independent commission sales agents and to efficiently deliver that freight utilizing third party capacity providers. Management believes the most significant factors to the Company's success include increasing revenue, sourcing capacity and controlling costs, including insurance and claims.

While customer demand, which is subject to overall economic conditions, ultimately drives increases or decreases in revenue, the Company primarily relies on its independent commission sales agents to establish customer relationships and generate revenue opportunities. Management's primary focus with respect to revenue growth is on revenue generated by independent commission sales agents who on an annual basis generate $1 million or more of Landstar revenue ("Million Dollar Agents"). Management believes future revenue growth is primarily dependent on its ability to increase both the revenue generated by Million Dollar Agents and the number of Million Dollar Agents through a combination of recruiting new agents and increasing the revenue opportunities generated by existing independent commission sales agents. During the 2011 fiscal year, 504 independent commission sales agents generated $1 million or more of Landstar revenue and thus qualified as Million Dollar Agents. During the 2011 fiscal year, the average revenue generated by a Million Dollar Agent was $4,778,000 and revenue generated by Million Dollar Agents in the aggregate represented 91% of consolidated revenue.

Management monitors business activity by tracking the number of loads (volume) and revenue per load by mode of transportation. Revenue per load can be influenced by many factors other than a change in price. Those factors include the average length of haul, freight type, special handling and equipment requirements, fuel costs and delivery time requirements. For shipments involving two or more modes of transportation, revenue is classified by the mode of transportation having the highest cost for the load. The following table summarizes this data by mode of transportation:

                                        Thirty Nine Weeks Ended                        Thirteen Weeks Ended
                                  September 29,          September 24,         September 29,          September 24,
                                       2012                  2011                   2012                  2011
Revenue generated through
(in thousands):

BCO Independent Contractors      $      1,057,109       $     1,020,856       $        355,861       $       351,108
Truck Brokerage Carriers                  886,532               747,122                307,600               274,731
Rail intermodal                            55,002                53,991                 18,782                19,159
Ocean and air cargo carriers               60,227                68,261                 20,100                25,330
Other (1)                                  43,294                41,330                 14,825                13,685

                                 $      2,102,164       $     1,931,560       $        717,168       $       684,013


Number of loads:

BCO Independent Contractors               616,200               601,990                201,050               199,260
Truck Brokerage Carriers                  510,360               441,930                176,760               154,720
Rail intermodal                            22,290                22,750                  7,470                 7,920
Ocean and air cargo carriers               11,760                12,150                  3,850                 4,200

                                        1,160,610             1,078,820                389,130               366,100


Revenue per load:

BCO Independent Contractors      $          1,716       $         1,696       $          1,770       $         1,762
Truck Brokerage Carriers                    1,737                 1,691                  1,740                 1,776
Rail intermodal                             2,468                 2,373                  2,514                 2,419
Ocean and air cargo carriers                5,121                 5,618                  5,221                 6,031

(1) Includes premium revenue generated by the insurance segment and warehousing and transportation management fee revenue generated by the transportation logistics segment.


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Also critical to the Company's success is its ability to secure capacity, particularly truck capacity, at rates that allow the Company to profitably transport customers' freight. The following table summarizes available truck capacity providers:

                                                      September 29, 2012       September 24, 2011

BCO Independent Contractors                                         8,074                    7,798
Truck Brokerage Carriers:
Approved and active (1)                                            20,474                   18,402
Other approved                                                      9,315                    9,088

                                                                   29,789                   27,490

Total available truck capacity providers                           37,863                   35,288

Number of trucks provided by BCO Independent
Contractors                                                         8,596                    8,314

(1) Active refers to Truck Brokerage Carriers who moved at least one load in the 180 days immediately preceding the fiscal quarter end.

The Company incurs costs that are directly related to the transportation of freight that include purchased transportation and commissions to agents. The Company incurs indirect costs associated with the transportation of freight that include other operating costs and insurance and claims. In addition, the Company incurs selling, general and administrative costs essential to administering its business operations. Management continually monitors all components of the costs incurred by the Company and establishes annual cost budgets which, in general, are used to benchmark costs incurred on a monthly basis.

Purchased transportation represents the amount a BCO Independent Contractor or other third party capacity provider is paid to haul freight. The amount of purchased transportation paid to a BCO Independent Contractor is primarily based on a contractually agreed-upon percentage of revenue generated by the haul. Purchased transportation paid to a Truck Brokerage Carrier is based on either a negotiated rate for each load hauled or a contractually agreed-upon rate. Purchased transportation paid to railroads, air cargo carriers or ocean cargo carriers is based on contractually agreed-upon fixed rates. Purchased transportation as a percentage of revenue for truck brokerage, rail intermodal and ocean cargo services is normally higher than that of BCO Independent Contractor and air cargo services. Purchased transportation is the largest component of costs and expenses and, on a consolidated basis, increases or decreases in proportion to the revenue generated through BCO Independent Contractors and other third party capacity providers, transportation management fees and revenue from the insurance segment. Purchased transportation as a percent of revenue also increases or decreases in relation to the availability of truck brokerage capacity and the price of fuel on revenue hauled by Truck Brokerage Carriers. Purchased transportation costs are recognized upon the completion of freight delivery.

Commissions to agents are based on contractually agreed-upon percentages of revenue or net revenue, defined as revenue less the cost of purchased transportation, or net revenue less a contractually agreed upon percentage of revenue retained by Landstar. Commissions to agents as a percentage of consolidated revenue will vary directly with fluctuations in the percentage of consolidated revenue generated by the various modes of transportation, transportation management fees and revenue from the insurance segment and with changes in net revenue on services provided by Truck Brokerage Carriers and railroads, air cargo carriers and ocean cargo carriers. Commissions to agents are recognized upon the completion of freight delivery.

The Company defines gross profit as revenue less the cost of purchased transportation and commissions to agents. Gross profit divided by revenue is referred to as gross profit margin. The Company's operating margin is defined as operating income divided by gross profit.

In general, gross profit margin on revenue hauled by BCO Independent Contractors represents a fixed percentage of revenue due to the nature of the contracts that pay a fixed percentage of revenue to both the BCO Independent Contractors and independent commission sales agents. For revenue hauled by Truck Brokerage Carriers, gross profit margin is either fixed or variable as a percent of revenue, depending on the contract with each individual independent commission sales agent. Under certain contracts with independent commission sales agents, the Company retains a fixed percentage of revenue and the agent retains the amount remaining less the cost of purchased transportation (the "retention contracts"). Gross profit margin on revenue hauled by railroads, air cargo carriers, ocean cargo carriers and Truck Brokerage Carriers, other than those under retention contracts, is variable in nature as the Company's contracts with independent commission sales agents provide commissions to agents at a contractually agreed upon percentage of net revenue for these types of loads. Approximately 62% of the Company's revenue in the thirty-nine-week period ended September 29, 2012 had a fixed gross profit margin.


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Maintenance costs for Company-provided trailing equipment, BCO Independent Contractor recruiting costs and the provision for uncollectible advances and other receivables due from BCO Independent Contractors and independent commission sales agents are the largest components of other operating costs. Also included in other operating costs are gains/losses, if any, on sales of Company-owned trailing equipment.

Potential liability associated with accidents in the trucking industry is severe and occurrences are unpredictable. For commercial trucking claims, Landstar retains liability up to $5,000,000 per occurrence. The Company also retains liability for each general liability claim up to $1,000,000, $250,000 for each workers' compensation claim and up to $250,000 for each cargo claim. The Company's exposure to liability associated with accidents incurred by Truck Brokerage Carriers, railroads and air cargo and ocean cargo carriers who transport freight on behalf of the Company is reduced by various factors including the extent to which such carriers maintain their own insurance coverage. A material increase in the frequency or severity of accidents, cargo claims or workers' compensation claims or the material unfavorable development of existing claims could have a material adverse effect on Landstar's cost of insurance and claims and its results of operations.

Employee compensation and benefits account for over sixty percent of the Company's selling, general and administrative costs.

Depreciation and amortization primarily relate to depreciation of trailing equipment, amortization of intangible assets and depreciation of information technology hardware and software.

The following table sets forth the percentage relationship of purchased transportation and commissions to agents, both being direct costs, to revenue and indirect costs as a percentage of gross profit for the periods indicated:

                                         Thirty Nine Weeks Ended                             Thirteen Weeks Ended
                                 September 29,             September 24,            September 29,            September 24,
                                     2012                       2011                    2012                     2011

Revenue                                   100.0 %                    100.0 %                 100.0 %                  100.0 %

Purchased transportation                   76.3                       75.6                    76.4                     75.8
Commissions to agents                       7.7                        7.9                     7.8                      8.0


Gross profit margin                        16.0 %                     16.5 %                  15.8 %                   16.2 %


Gross profit                              100.0 %                    100.0 %                 100.0 %                  100.0 %
Investment income                           0.4                        0.4                     0.3                      0.3
Indirect costs and
expenses:
Other operating costs                       5.3                        6.9                     5.7                      5.8
Insurance and claims                        8.5                       10.7                     7.1                      8.5
Selling, general and
administrative                             33.9                       35.2                    33.2                     35.4
Depreciation and
amortization                                6.1                        6.1                     6.3                      5.9


Total costs and expenses                   53.8                       58.9                    52.2                     55.6


Operating margin                           46.6 %                     41.5 %                  48.1 %                   44.7 %

THIRTY NINE WEEKS ENDED SEPTEMBER 29, 2012 COMPARED TO THIRTY NINE WEEKS ENDED
SEPTEMBER 24, 2011

Revenue for the 2012 thirty-nine-week period was $2,102,164,000, an increase of $170,604,000, or 9%, compared to the 2011 thirty-nine-week period. Revenue increased $169,438,000, or 9%, at the transportation logistics segment. The increase in revenue at the transportation logistics segment was primarily attributable to an 8% increase in the number of loads hauled and an increased revenue per load of approximately 1%. Included in the 2012 and 2011 thirty-nine-week periods was $16,286,000 and $15,417,000, respectively, of transportation management fee revenue. Revenue at the insurance segment, representing reinsurance premiums from third party insurance companies that provide insurance programs to BCO Independent Contractors where all or a portion of the risk of loss is borne by the Company, was $26,689,000 and $25,523,000 for the 2012 and 2011 thirty-nine-week periods, respectively.


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Truck transportation revenue hauled by BCO Independent Contractors and Truck Brokerage Carriers (together the "third-party truck capacity providers") for the thirty-nine-week period ended September 29, 2012, was $1,943,641,000, or 92% of total revenue, and increased $175,663,000, or 10%, compared to the 2011 thirty-nine-week period. The number of loads hauled by third-party truck capacity providers in the 2012 thirty-nine-week period increased 8% compared to the 2011 thirty-nine-week period, and revenue per load on revenue hauled by third-party truck capacity providers increased 2% compared to the 2011 thirty-nine-week period. The increase in the number of loads hauled by third-party truck capacity providers was primarily attributable to increased loads hauled on unsided/platform trailing equipment and loads generated from the addition of new independent commission sales agents. The increase in revenue per load on revenue hauled by third-party truck capacity providers was primarily attributable to both an increase in the number of loads hauled on unsided/platform equipment, which has a higher revenue per load, and an increase in the revenue per load on loads hauled on unsided/platform equipment. Fuel surcharges on Truck Brokerage Carrier revenue identified separately in billings to customers and included as a component of Truck Brokerage Carrier revenue were $83,075,000 and $71,129,000 in the 2012 and 2011 periods, respectively. Fuel surcharges billed to customers on revenue hauled by BCO Independent Contractors are excluded from revenue.

Transportation revenue hauled by railroads, air cargo carriers and ocean cargo carriers (together the "multimode capacity providers") for the thirty-nine-week period ended September 29, 2012, was $115,229,000, or 5% of total revenue, and decreased $7,023,000, or 6%, compared to the 2011 thirty-nine-week period. The number of loads hauled by multimode capacity providers in the 2012 thirty-nine-week period decreased 2% compared to the 2011 thirty-nine-week period, while revenue per load on the revenue hauled by multimode capacity providers decreased 3% over the same period. The decrease in the number of loads hauled by multimode capacity providers was primarily attributable to decreased chartered air loads resulting partly from the termination of one independent commission sales agent in the 2012 period plus lower demand for international air freight. Revenue per load on revenue hauled by multimode capacity providers is influenced by many factors, including the mode of transportation used, length of haul, complexity of freight, density of freight lanes, fuel costs and availability of capacity.

Purchased transportation was 76.3% and 75.6% of revenue in the 2012 and 2011 thirty-nine-week periods, respectively. The increase in purchased transportation as a percentage of revenue was primarily attributable to increased rates of purchased transportation paid to Truck Brokerage Carriers and an increase in the percentage of revenue hauled by Truck Brokerage Carriers, which has a higher rate of purchased transportation. Commissions to agents were 7.7% and 7.9% of revenue in the 2012 and 2011 periods, respectively. The decrease in commissions to agents as a percentage of revenue was attributable to a decreased net revenue margin, defined as net revenue divided by revenue, on revenue hauled by Truck Brokerage Carriers.

Investment income at the insurance segment was $1,185,000 and $1,294,000 in the 2012 and 2011 thirty-nine-week periods, respectively. The decrease in investment income was primarily due to a lower average rate of return on investments held by the insurance segment in the 2012 period.

Other operating costs were 5.3% and 6.9% of gross profit in the 2012 and 2011 thirty-nine-week periods, respectively. The decrease in other operating costs as a percentage of gross profit was primarily attributable to the effect of increased gross profit, increased gains on sales of trailing equipment, a decreased provision for contractor bad debt and decreased trailing equipment maintenance costs. Insurance and claims were 8.5% of gross profit in the 2012 period and 10.7% of gross profit in the 2011 period. The decrease in insurance and claims as a percentage of gross profit was primarily due to the effect of an increase in the percent of gross profit contributed from revenue hauled by Truck . . .

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