Analysts wary of LTL market

NEW YORK — A handful of trucking companies saw their shares drop, as market analysts predict a weakness in the LTL market.

Two major financial firms, Baird and JP Morgan, suggested the LTL market will get squeezed in the near future and expect the trend to carry through 2009.

“Domestic freight trends have weakened throughout the third quarter as the 2008 peak season has failed to materialize," Baird analyst Jon Langenfeld wrote in a note to clients. He also predicted that this year’s pre-holiday ramp-up will be even weaker than last year.

Analyst Thomas Wadewitz of JP Morgan agreed and as a result downgraded four U.S. trucking and logistics firms. Con-Way and Old Dominion went from “neutral” to “overweight,” while YRC Worldwide and Arkansas Best went from “underweight” to “neutral.”

— with files from Reuters and AP

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