Heartland Express 1Q net income up 19 pct

NORTH LIBERTY, Iowa (AP) -- Trucking company Heartland Express Inc. said Tuesday that proceeds from selling some property and equipment helped increase its first-quarter net income 19 percent.

The North Liberty, Iowa-based company earned $19.7 million, or 23 cents per share, up from $16.6 million, or 19 cents per share, for the same quarter the year before. It recorded a gain of $11.2 million gain from the sale.

Revenue was nearly unchanged — $134.3 million compared with $134.8 million. The company had fewer business days in the January-March quarter because both Easter and Good Friday fell during the period.

Profit beat Wall Street predictions, while revenue fell short. Analysts, on average, expected a profit of 19 cents per share on $137 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

Fuel costs rose, by less than 1 percent, due to harsher winter weather and higher fuel prices. Fuel is the company's biggest expense.

Heartland Express shares rose 17 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $13.28 in afternoon trading.