Why Con-way Drove Higher

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of transportation and logistics company Con-way (NYS: CNW) are burning rubber, up 14% as of this writing, following a better-than-anticipated first-quarter earnings report.

So what: For the quarter, Con-way reported a more than tripling in its net income to $0.46 on a 9.6% jump in revenue to $1.37 billion. These results easily ran over Wall Street's expectations for $0.35 in profit on revenue of $1.35 billion. Con-way attributed its strong results to a significantly lower effective tax rate, as well as strong growth in its truckload, logistics, and freight segments.

Now what: So much for rising fuel costs digging into trucking companies' bottom lines. All three of Con-way's business segments are running leaner and boosting efficiency, which resulted in part of this quarter's huge beat. It also would be wrong if we overlooked the huge impact that a much lower tax rate had on Con-way's earnings. All in all, this was a solid quarter and it's actually one that long-term investors can build confidence around. It's not my favorite transportation company by any means, but it's on my radar after this report.

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At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributor Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong.Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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