At Con-way, the less-than-truckload business is gaining momentum with LTL pricing expected to increase between 3 percent to 4 percent and the company's LTL improvement initiatives expected to bear fruit during the second half of the year.
But according to an analysis by Stifel Nicolaus, Con-way's truckload, freight and Menlo Worldwide segments don't work together harmoniously and might be more valuable apart.
Freight, the company's LTL division, accounted for 61 percent of revenue and 62 percent of operating income in 2012, and that division will drive the company forward in 2012.
Con-way Freight has steadily improved so far this year, moving from -5.7 percent in December to -1.2 percent in January. Growth in February was flat, according to Stifel Nicolaus. Analysts expect the freight side to be flat or modestly improve in March.
The company's Lean initiative is another potential driver of growth. Lean has been adopted by Menlo and Con-way Freight, and is currently being implemented on the truckload side of things.
Even with these improvements, Stifel Nicolaus analysts see a lack of synergy among Con-way's divisions.
"More value could be created if it sold Menlo and/or spun-off the truckload unit," analysts wrote in the report. - Jon Ross