- Knight-Swift Transportation is ready and looking to make more acquisitions as it looks to spend free cash, according to comments made during the company's Q1 earnings call Wednesday.
- "We're definitely poised to continue making investments," said President and CEO Dave Jackson. "We would love to grow an LTL."
- In addition to further LTL deals, Jackson said the company would use its free cash for deals that "help us diversify and become a stronger industrial company" and buy back shares "along the way."
Knight-Swift has the cash to make deals work. The company reported $352 million in "free cash flow" as of the end of Q1, an unaudited and internal metric the company uses to assess its liquidity.
For context, the company ended 2021 with $908 million in free cash flow. That year, Knight-Swift made two big acquisitions to secure a foothold in the LTL space, acquiring AAA Cooper in July and RAC MME in December. It paid $150 million for MME — in cash.
It's that financial prowess, plus an operational strategy that can integrate different brands, that makes Knight-Swift an attractive buyer, according to Jackson.
"I think one of the most compelling things that we have for future LTL deals is success with the current partners that we have right now and proving out that this can work," he said.
AAA Cooper and MME operate in distinct regions, but Jackson made it clear having a customer's load picked up in Birmingham, Alabama, by AAA Cooper and delivered in North Dakota by MME is exactly the point.
"We're there connecting networks and making it happen behind the scenes," Jackson said. "Very few people have ever done it quite that way. Certainly nobody's done it that way on a nationwide scale using those different brands."