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Marten Transport Announces Fourth Quarter and Year End Results

January 24, 2019

MONDOVI, Wis., Jan. 24, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Marten Transport, Ltd. (Nasdaq/GS:MRTN) today reported the highest operating income and operating revenue for any quarter and year in its history. For the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2018, net income was $15.7 million, or 29 cents per diluted share. Net income for the 2017 fourth quarter was $65.1 million, or $1.18 per diluted share – results that include a deferred income taxes benefit of $56.5 million related to the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Excluding that benefit, net income improved 82.8% from $8.6 million, or 16 cents per diluted share, for the 2017 fourth quarter. Net income was $55.0 million, or $1.00 per diluted share, for the year ended December 31, 2018 and was $90.3 million, or $1.65 per diluted share, for 2017. Excluding the deferred income taxes benefit, 2018 net income improved 62.7% from $33.8 million, or 62 cents per diluted share, for 2017.

Operating Results Comparison Percentage Percentage Change Change Three Months Year Three Months Ended Year Ended Ended Dec. 31, Dec. 31, Ended Dec. 31, Dec. 31, (Dollars in thousands, except share 2018 2017 2018 vs. 2017 2018 2017 2018 vs. 2017 information) ---------- ---------- ------------- ---------- ---------- ------------- Operating revenue $ 203,961 $ 182,771 11.6% $ 787,594 $ 698,120 12.8% - ------- - ------- ----- ------- - ------- - ------- ----- ------- Operating income $ 19,538 $ 14,333 36.3% $ 70,348 $ 56,862 23.7% - ------- - ------- ----- ------- - ------- - ------- ----- ------- Net income (excluding 2017 deferred $ 15,737 $ 8,609 82.8% $ 55,027 $ 33,819 62.7% income taxes benefit) - ------- - ------- ----- ------- - ------- - ------- ----- ------- Diluted earnings per common share (excluding 2017 deferred income $ 0.29 $ 0.16 82.7% $ 1.00 $ 0.62 61.8% taxes benefit) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------

Earnings Impact of Deferred Income Taxes Benefit in 2017 Three Year Months Ended Ended (Dollars in thousands, except share information) Dec. 31, Dec. 31, 2017 2017 -------- -------- Net income: Excluding deferred income taxes benefit $ 8,609 $ 33,819 Deferred income taxes benefit 56,465 56,465 - ------ - ------ Net income $ 65,074 $ 90,284 - ------ - ------ Diluted earnings per common share*: Excluding deferred income taxes benefit $ 0.16 $ 0.62 Deferred income taxes benefit 1.03 1.03 - ------ - ------ Diluted earnings per common share $ 1.18 $ 1.65 - ------ - ------ *Differences in rounding exist for the diluted earnings per common share amounts for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2017. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operating revenue improved 11.6% to a record $204.0 million for the fourth quarter of 2018 from $182.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2017, and improved 12.8% to a record $787.6 million for 2018 from $698.1 million for 2017. Excluding fuel surcharges, operating revenue improved 8.0% to $176.5 million for the 2018 quarter from $163.4 million for the 2017 quarter, and improved 8.0% to $681.4 million for 2018 from $631.0 million for 2017. Fuel surcharge revenue increased to $27.4 million for the fourth quarter of 2018 from $19.3 million for the 2017 quarter, and increased to $106.2 million for 2018 from $67.1 million for 2017.

Operating income improved 36.3% to a record $19.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2018 from $14.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2017, and improved 23.7% to a record $70.3 million for 2018 from $56.9 million for 2017.

Operating expenses as a percentage of operating revenue improved to 90.4% for the fourth quarter of 2018 from 92.2% for the fourth quarter of 2017. Operating expenses as a percentage of operating revenue, with both amounts net of fuel surcharges, improved to 88.9% for the fourth quarter of 2018 from 91.2% for the fourth quarter of 2017.

Operating expenses as a percentage of operating revenue improved to 91.1% for 2018 from 91.9% for 2017. Operating expenses as a percentage of operating revenue, with both amounts net of fuel surcharges, improved to 89.7% for 2018 from 91.0% for 2017.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Randolph L. Marten said, “We are pleased to report record operating income and operating revenue for the year, along with our best operating ratio, net of fuel surcharges, over the last 13 years – which we earned by consistently stepping up our profitability throughout the year. We also drove record operating revenue and operating income for the fourth quarter, along with our best operating ratio, net of fuel surcharges, over the last 15 quarters. Marten’s talented people delivered these strong top- and bottom-line results through the continued disciplined execution of our unique multifaceted business model while capitalizing on the strengthened freight environment. In addition, we enhanced our balance sheet position with $56.8 million in cash at December 31, 2018 compared with $15.8 million at the beginning of the year. We expect to produce continued organic growth across all of our operating platforms in 2019 with increasing compensation for our premium services, additional freight with existing and new customers, our emphasis on operating efficiencies and cost controls, and our modern fleet and strong balance sheet.”

“A number of our customer agreements included a shift beginning in this year’s first quarter from line haul to fuel surcharge revenue, which reduced our Dedicated and Truckload revenue, net of fuel surcharges, by $201 and $35 per tractor per week in the fourth quarter, and by $179 and $32 per tractor per week in the year. The change reduced our revenue excluding fuel surcharges by $3.6 million for the fourth quarter and by $12.9 million for the year, while increasing our fuel surcharge revenue by the same amounts.”

Marten Transport, with headquarters in Mondovi, Wis., is one of the leading temperature-sensitive truckload carriers in the United States, specializing in transporting and distributing food and other consumer packaged goods that require a temperature-controlled or insulated environment. Marten’s dry freight services are expanding, with 1,600 dry trailers operating as of December 31, 2018. Marten offers service in the United States, Canada and Mexico, concentrating on expedited movements for high-volume customers. Marten’s common stock is traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol MRTN.

This press release contains certain statements that may be considered forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These statements include a discussion of the Company’s prospects for future growth and by their nature involve substantial risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially from those expressed in such forward-looking statements. Important factors known to the Company that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements are discussed in Item 1A of the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017. The Company undertakes no obligation to correct or update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

CONTACTS: Tim Kohl, President, and Jim Hinnendael, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, of Marten Transport, Ltd., 715-926-4216.

MARTEN TRANSPORT, LTD. CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED BALANCE SHEETS December 31, December 31, (In thousands, except share information) 2018 2017 ------------- - ---------- (Unaudited) ASSETS Current assets: Cash and cash equivalents $ 56,763 $ 15,791 Receivables: Trade, net 83,033 74,886 Other 3,808 6,131 Prepaid expenses and other 19,924 19,810 - ----------- - - -------- Total current assets 163,528 116,618 - ----------- - - -------- Property and equipment: Revenue equipment, buildings and land, office equipment and other 816,430 783,648 Accumulated depreciation (228,200 ) (211,728 ) - ----------- - - -------- Net property and equipment 588,230 571,920 Other assets 2,146 1,865 - ----------- - - -------- Total assets $ 753,904 $ 690,403 - ----------- - - -------- LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY Current liabilities: Accounts payable and accrued liabilities $ 43,870 $ 38,100 Insurance and claims accruals 28,103 26,177 - ----------- - - -------- Total current liabilities 71,973 64,277 Deferred income taxes 105,977 100,626 - ----------- - - -------- Total liabilities 177,950 164,903 - ----------- - - -------- Stockholders’ equity: Preferred stock, $.01 par value per share; 2,000,000 shares authorized; no - - shares issued and outstanding Common stock, $.01 par value per share; 192,000,000 shares authorized; 54,466,691 shares at December 31, 2018, and 54,533,455 shares at December 31, 545 545 2017, issued and outstanding Additional paid-in capital 76,814 76,413 Retained earnings 498,595 448,542 - ----------- - - -------- Total stockholders’ equity 575,954 525,500 - ----------- - - -------- Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity $ 753,904 $ 690,403 - ----------- - - --------

MARTEN TRANSPORT, LTD. CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS (Unaudited) Three Months Year Ended December 31, Ended December 31, ---------------------- ---------------------- (In thousands, except per share information) 2018 2017 2018 2017 --------- - --------- --------- - --------- Operating revenue $ 203,961 $ 182,771 $ 787,594 $ 698,120 - ------- - - ------- - ------- - - ------- Operating expenses (income): Salaries, wages and benefits 65,924 59,382 252,047 226,091 Purchased transportation 38,670 32,803 144,611 118,349 Fuel and fuel taxes 29,189 28,284 121,633 105,390 Supplies and maintenance 9,592 9,701 40,853 41,613 Depreciation 22,305 21,245 88,585 85,120 Operating taxes and licenses 2,418 2,180 9,473 8,993 Insurance and claims 10,859 9,487 38,657 38,585 Communications and utilities 1,641 1,516 6,634 6,047 Gain on disposition of revenue equipment (2,038 ) (617 ) (7,244 ) (5,499 ) Other 5,863 4,457 21,997 16,569 - ------- - - ------- - ------- - - ------- Total operating expenses 184,423 168,438 717,246 641,258 - ------- - - ------- - ------- - - ------- Operating income 19,538 14,333 70,348 56,862 Other (234 ) 109 (681 ) 389 - ------- - - ------- - ------- - - ------- Income before income taxes 19,772 14,224 71,029 56,473 Income taxes expense (benefit) 4,035 (50,850 ) 16,002 (33,811 ) - ------- - - ------- - ------- - - ------- Net income $ 15,737 $ 65,074 $ 55,027 $ 90,284 - ------- - - ------- - ------- - - ------- Basic earnings per common share $ 0.29 $ 1.19 $ 1.01 $ 1.66 - ------- - - ------- - ------- - - ------- Diluted earnings per common share $ 0.29 $ 1.18 $ 1.00 $ 1.65 - ------- - - ------- - ------- - - ------- Dividends declared per common share $ 0.025 $ 0.025 $ 0.10 $ 0.08 - ------- - - ------- - ------- - - -------

MARTEN TRANSPORT, LTD. SEGMENT INFORMATION (Unaudited) Dollar Percent age Change Change Three Months Three Three Months Months Ended Ended Ended December 31, December Decembe 31, r 31, ---------------------- 2018 vs. 2018 (Dollars in thousands) 2018 2017 2017 vs. 2017 --------- - --------- - -------- - ------ Operating revenue: Truckload revenue, net of fuel surcharge revenue $ 81,020 $ 85,469 $ (4,449 ) (5.2 )% Truckload fuel surcharge revenue 12,979 12,161 818 6.7 - ------- - - ------- - - ------ - ----- Total Truckload revenue 93,999 97,630 (3,631 ) (3.7 ) - ------- - - ------- - - ------ - ----- Dedicated revenue, net of fuel surcharge revenue 49,041 39,037 10,004 25.6 Dedicated fuel surcharge revenue 10,216 3,916 6,300 160.9 - ------- - - ------- - - ------ - ----- Total Dedicated revenue 59,257 42,953 16,304 38.0 - ------- - - ------- - - ------ - ----- Intermodal revenue, net of fuel surcharge revenue 21,738 19,171 2,567 13.4 Intermodal fuel surcharge revenue 4,226 3,254 972 29.9 - ------- - - ------- - - ------ - ----- Total Intermodal revenue 25,964 22,425 3,539 15.8 - ------- - - ------- - - ------ - ----- Brokerage revenue 24,741 19,763 4,978 25.2 - ------- - - ------- - - ------ - ----- Total operating revenue $ 203,961 $ 182,771 $ 21,190 11.6 % - ------- - - ------- - - ------ - ----- Operating income: Truckload $ 9,537 $ 7,077 $ 2,460 34.8 % Dedicated 5,268 2,999 2,269 75.7 Intermodal 3,153 2,526 627 24.8 Brokerage 1,580 1,731 (151 ) (8.7 ) - ------- - - ------- - - ------ - ----- Total operating income $ 19,538 $ 14,333 $ 5,205 36.3 % - ------- - - ------- - - ------ - ----- Operating ratio: Truckload 89.9 % 92.8 % Dedicated 91.1 93.0 Intermodal 87.9 88.7 Brokerage 93.6 91.2 - ------- - - ------- Consolidated operating ratio 90.4 % 92.2 % - ------- - - -------

MARTEN TRANSPORT, LTD. SEGMENT INFORMATION (Unaudited) Dollar Percent age Change Change Year Year Year Ended Ended Ended December 31, December Decembe 31, r 31, ---------------------- 2018 vs. 2018 (Dollars in thousands) 2018 2017 2017 vs. 2017 --------- - --------- - --------- - ------ Operating revenue: Truckload revenue, net of fuel surcharge revenue $ 322,324 $ 336,596 $ (14,272 ) (4.2 )% Truckload fuel surcharge revenue 53,016 43,614 9,402 21.6 - ------- - - ------- - - ------- - ----- Total Truckload revenue 375,340 380,210 (4,870 ) (1.3 ) - ------- - - ------- - - ------- - ----- Dedicated revenue, net of fuel surcharge revenue 187,137 153,691 33,446 21.8 Dedicated fuel surcharge revenue 36,715 13,190 23,525 178.4 - ------- - - ------- - - ------- - ----- Total Dedicated revenue 223,852 166,881 56,971 34.1 - ------- - - ------- - - ------- - ----- Intermodal revenue, net of fuel surcharge revenue 85,572 70,282 15,290 21.8 Intermodal fuel surcharge revenue 16,453 10,339 6,114 59.1 - ------- - - ------- - - ------- - ----- Total Intermodal revenue 102,025 80,621 21,404 26.5 - ------- - - ------- - - ------- - ----- Brokerage revenue 86,377 70,408 15,969 22.7 - ------- - - ------- - - ------- - ----- Total operating revenue $ 787,594 $ 698,120 $ 89,474 12.8 % - ------- - - ------- - - ------- - ----- Operating income: Truckload $ 35,067 $ 26,326 $ 8,741 33.2 % Dedicated 18,589 17,074 1,515 8.9 Intermodal 11,150 8,303 2,847 34.3 Brokerage 5,542 5,159 383 7.4 - ------- - - ------- - - ------- - ----- Total operating income $ 70,348 $ 56,862 $ 13,486 23.7 % - ------- - - ------- - - ------- - ----- Operating ratio: Truckload 90.7 % 93.1 % Dedicated 91.7 89.8 Intermodal 89.1 89.7 Brokerage 93.6 92.7 - ------- - - ------- Consolidated operating ratio 91.1 % 91.9 % - ------- - - -------

MARTEN TRANSPORT, LTD. OPERATING STATISTICS (Unaudited) Three Months Year Ended December 31, Ended December 31, -------------------- - ---------------------- 2018 2017 2018 2017 -------- - -------- - --------- - --------- Truckload Segment: Revenue (in thousands) $ 93,999 $ 97,630 $ 375,340 $ 380,210 Average revenue, net of fuel surcharges, per tractor per $ 3,941 $ 3,700 $ 3,833 $ 3,514 week(1) Average tractors(1) 1,564 1,758 1,613 1,837 Average miles per trip 558 601 573 599 Non-revenue miles percentage(2) 11.4 % 6.2 % 9.5 % 8.3 % Total miles (in thousands) 36,171 43,624 153,514 178,760 Dedicated Segment: Revenue (in thousands) $ 59,257 $ 42,953 $ 223,852 $ 166,881 Average revenue, net of fuel surcharges, per tractor per $ 3,360 $ 3,535 $ 3,300 $ 3,481 week(1) Average tractors(1) 1,111 840 1,088 847 Average miles per trip 321 296 309 297 Non-revenue miles percentage(2) 0.5 % 1.1 % 0.7 % 0.8 % Total miles (in thousands) 24,025 19,461 93,269 77,102 Intermodal Segment: Revenue (in thousands) $ 25,964 $ 22,425 $ 102,025 $ 80,621 Loads 10,493 10,554 42,425 40,196 Average tractors 91 78 88 79 Brokerage Segment: Revenue (in thousands) $ 24,741 $ 19,763 $ 86,377 $ 70,408 Loads 14,314 11,667 51,104 48,271 At December 31, 2018 and December 31, 2017: Total tractors(1) 2,755 2,738 Average age of company tractors (in years) 1.7 1.5 Total trailers 5,347 4,909 Average age of company trailers (in years) 2.5 2.8 Ratio of trailers to tractors(1) 1.9 1.8

Three Months Year Ended December 31, Ended December 31, ---------------------- - ----------------------- (In thousands) 2018 2017 2018 2017 --------- - --------- - ---------- - --------- Net cash provided by operating activities $ 38,526 $ 27,169 $ 150,623 $ 121,879 Net cash (used for) investing activities (12,428 ) (11,303 ) (101,270 ) (95,318 ) Net cash (used for) financing activities (5,074 ) (1,234 ) (8,381 ) (11,258 ) Weighted average shares outstanding: Basic 54,514 54,529 54,590 54,492 Diluted 55,014 54,979 55,149 54,850 (1) Includes tractors driven by both company-employed drivers and independent contractors. Independent contractors provided 46 and 60 tractors as of December 31, 2018 and 2017, respectively. (2) Represents the percentage of miles for which the company is not compensated.

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