Morningstar Rating

Stock Research and Analysis

by Matthew Young, CFA

Bulls Say

Forward Air has grown beyond time-definite airport-to-airport shipping into complementary services such as expedited truckload brokerage, and the recent acquisition of Central States Trucking expands its container drayage services.
The firm's extensive airport-to-airport terminal network bestows high barriers to entry, since replication by prospective competitors would prove formidable and costly without sufficient lane density.
Forward Air's asset-light operating model is not immune to soft freight demand, but can help shield profitability when macroeconomic conditions deteriorate. Read more 

Bears Say

Forward Air's pooled distribution unit operates in highly cyclical end markets, particularly specialty retail. Diversification into other industries will take time, thanks to the long sales cycle.
Although replicating the firm's core airport-to-airport operations would be difficult, well-funded firms could do so if willing to endure hefty losses while building up their networks.
The trucking industry driver shortage is boosting operating expenses as the firm looks to recruit qualified owner-operators. Read more 

Management

We think Forward Air is characterized by solid management stewardship of capital, including a record of improving operating margins, increasing tonnage, and maintaining pricing discipline. The firm currently pays a $0.12 per share quarterly dividend,  Read more 

Profile

Forward Air is an asset-light provider of time-definite truck transportation to the North American deferred airfreight shipping market. Airport-to-airport trucking reflects   Read more 

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