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Transportation services and logistics company J.B. Hunt Transport Services (Nasdaq: JBHT) jack-knifed for a $5 7/8 loss to $16 1/2 after saying a slowdown in rail service has hurt its intermodal business and will trim $0.10 to $0.15 from its earnings per share for fiscal Q3. The company expects to miss the First Call mean earnings estimate of $0.46 per share for the quarter even though revenues are forecasted to come in around 20% above last year's levels. The company feels that analysts' estimates for fiscal 1999 are "reasonable," so long as its railroad partners get their acts together and restore service to the levels seen earlier this year. Hunt was careful not point fingers or name railroad names in its statement, but one has to wonder if the ongoing railroad traffic jam at Union Pacific (NYSE: UNP) is at least partly to blame for the profit warning. Interestingly, Hunt's larger maintenance shops and truck terminals in Chicago and Lowell, Arkansas, just happen to coincide nicely with Union Pacific's Midwest and Southern-centric route map.
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