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Press release content from Globe Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

Marten Transport Announces First Quarter Results

April 16, 2019

MONDOVI, Wis., April 16, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Marten Transport, Ltd. (Nasdaq/GS:MRTN) today reported a 31.1% improvement in net income to $13.5 million, or 25 cents per diluted share, for the first quarter ended March 31, 2019, from $10.3 million, or 19 cents per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2018.

Operating revenue improved 6.5% to $199.0 million for the first quarter of 2019 from $187.0 million for the first quarter of 2018, and improved 12.3% to $799.7 million for the trailing twelve months ended March 31, 2019 from $711.9 million for the similar period ended March 31, 2018. Excluding fuel surcharges, operating revenue improved 7.1% to $175.5 million for the 2019 quarter from $163.8 million for the 2018 quarter. Fuel surcharge revenue increased slightly to $23.6 million from $23.1 million over the same periods.

Operating income improved 30.4% to $17.7 million for the first quarter of 2019 from $13.6 million for the first quarter of 2018, and improved 31.8% to $74.5 million for the trailing twelve months ended March 31, 2019 from $56.5 million for the similar period ended March 31, 2018.

Operating expenses as a percentage of operating revenue improved to 91.1% for the first quarter of 2019 from 92.7% for the first quarter of 2018. Operating expenses as a percentage of operating revenue, with both amounts net of fuel surcharges, improved to 89.9% from 91.7% over the same periods.

Operating expenses as a percentage of operating revenue improved to 90.7% for the trailing twelve months ended March 31, 2019 from 92.1% for the similar period ended March 31, 2018. Operating expenses as a percentage of operating revenue, with both amounts net of fuel surcharges, improved to 89.3% from 91.1% over the same periods.

Operating Results Comparison Net income and diluted earnings per common share presented below for the TTM ended Mar. 31, 2018 exclude a $56.5 million deferred income tax benefit in the fourth quarter of 2017. Net income including the benefit for the TTM ended Mar. 31, 2018 was $92.4 million, or $1.68 per diluted share. Percentag Percentag e e Change Change Three Trailing Trailing Months Twelve Three Months Ended Twelve Months Months Ended Ended Mar. 31, Mar. 31, Ended Mar. 31, Mar. 31, (Dollars in thousands, except share information) 2019 2018 2019 vs. 2019 2018 2019 vs. 2018 2018 --------- --------- -------- --------- -------- Operating revenue $ 199,023 $ 186,960 6.5 % $ 799,657 $ 711,921 12.3 % - ------- - ------- - ---- - - ------- - ------- - ---- - Operating income $ 17,733 $ 13,594 30.4 % $ 74,487 $ 56,518 31.8 % - ------- - ------- - ---- - - ------- - ------- - ---- - Net income $ 13,546 $ 10,331 31.1 % $ 58,242 $ 35,936 62.1 % - ------- - ------- - ---- - - ------- - ------- - ---- - Diluted earnings per common share $ 0.25 $ 0.19 31.2 % $ 1.06 $ 0.65 61.6 % - ------- - ------- - ---- - - ------- - ------- - ---- - Operating ratio, excluding fuel surcharges 89.9 % 91.7 % 89.3 % 91.1 % --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Randolph L. Marten said, “We are pleased to report our continued strong top- and bottom-line results for this quarter, which produced our best-ever first-quarter operating revenue, operating income and net income. Our 30.4% year-over-year improvement in operating income for the first quarter consistently furthers our 31.8% operating income increase in the last twelve months. We expect to see strong demand throughout 2019 for our premium services with our diversified base of over 650 customers. We added 65 Truckload and 51 Dedicated tractors during the first quarter, and we expect to build on this success in recruiting and retaining the industry’s top, experienced drivers to increase our capacity to service our existing and new customers. In addition, we enhanced our balance sheet position with $85.5 million in cash at March 31, 2019, up from $56.8 million at the beginning of the year.”

“A number of our customer agreements included a shift beginning mid-first quarter last year from line haul to fuel surcharge revenue, which reduced our Dedicated and Truckload revenue excluding fuel surcharges by $2.9 million and $782,000, respectively, for this year’s first quarter, and by $1.4 million and $282,000, respectively, for the first quarter of 2018. Our fuel surcharge revenue increased in both periods by the same amounts.”

Marten Transport, with headquarters in Mondovi, Wis., is a multifaceted business offering a network of truck-based transportation capabilities across the Company’s five distinct business platforms - Truckload, Dedicated, Intermodal, Brokerage and MRTN de Mexico. Marten is one of the leading temperature-sensitive truckload carriers in the United States, specializing in transporting and distributing food and other consumer packaged goods that require a temperature-controlled or insulated environment. Marten’s dry freight services are expanding, with 1,596 dry vans operating as of March 31, 2019. The Company offers service in the United States, Canada and Mexico, concentrating on expedited movements for high-volume customers. Marten’s common stock is traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol MRTN.

This press release contains certain statements that may be considered forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These statements include a discussion of the Company’s prospects for future growth and by their nature involve substantial risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially from those expressed in such forward-looking statements. Important factors known to the Company that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements are discussed in Item 1A of the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018. The Company undertakes no obligation to correct or update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

CONTACTS: Tim Kohl, President, and Jim Hinnendael, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, of Marten Transport, Ltd., 715-926-4216.

MARTEN TRANSPORT, LTD.CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED BALANCE SHEETS

March 31, December 31, (In thousands, except share information) 2019 2018 ------------- - ---------- (Unaudited) ASSETS Current assets: Cash and cash equivalents $ 85,526 $ 56,763 Receivables: Trade, net 84,443 83,033 Other 5,273 3,808 Prepaid expenses and other 18,025 19,924 - ----------- - - -------- Total current assets 193,267 163,528 - ----------- - - -------- Property and equipment: Revenue equipment, buildings and land, office equipment and other 819,809 816,430 Accumulated depreciation (241,658 ) (228,200 ) - ----------- - - -------- Net property and equipment 578,151 588,230 Other noncurrent assets 3,109 2,146 - ----------- - - -------- Total assets $ 774,527 $ 753,904 - ----------- - - -------- LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY Current liabilities: Accounts payable $ 18,512 $ 15,704 Insurance and claims accruals 29,381 28,103 Accrued and other current liabilities 31,649 28,166 - ----------- - - -------- Total current liabilities 79,542 71,973 Deferred income taxes 106,796 105,977 Noncurrent operating lease liabilities 452 - - ----------- - - -------- Total liabilities 186,790 177,950 - ----------- - - -------- Stockholders’ equity: Preferred stock, $.01 par value per share; 2,000,000 shares authorized; - - no shares issued and outstanding Common stock, $.01 par value per share; 192,000,000 shares authorized; 54,572,289 shares at March 31, 2019, and 54,466,691 546 545 shares at December 31, 2018, issued and outstanding Additional paid-in capital 76,687 76,814 Retained earnings 510,504 498,595 - ----------- - - -------- Total stockholders’ equity 587,737 575,954 - ----------- - - -------- Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity $ 774,527 $ 753,904 - ----------- - - --------

MARTEN TRANSPORT, LTD.CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS(Unaudited)

Three Months Ended March 31, ---------------------- (In thousands, except per share information) 2019 2018 --------- - --------- Operating revenue $ 199,023 $ 186,960 - ------- - - ------- Operating expenses (income): Salaries, wages and benefits 63,524 58,822 Purchased transportation 38,249 35,026 Fuel and fuel taxes 27,677 29,044 Supplies and maintenance 11,121 10,436 Depreciation 22,543 21,815 Operating taxes and licenses 2,333 2,287 Insurance and claims 9,875 10,290 Communications and utilities 1,950 1,683 Gain on disposition of revenue equipment (1,548 ) (1,211 ) Other 5,566 5,174 - ------- - - ------- Total operating expenses 181,290 173,366 - ------- - - ------- Operating income 17,733 13,594 Other (278 ) (189 ) - ------- - - ------- Income before income taxes 18,011 13,783 Income taxes expense 4,465 3,452 - ------- - - ------- Net income $ 13,546 $ 10,331 - ------- - - ------- Basic earnings per common share $ 0.25 $ 0.19 - ------- - - ------- Diluted earnings per common share $ 0.25 $ 0.19 - ------- - - ------- Dividends declared per common share $ 0.03 $ 0.025 - ------- - - -------

MARTEN TRANSPORT, LTD.SEGMENT INFORMATION(Unaudited)

Dollar Percent age Change Change Three Months Three Three Months Months Ended Ended Ended March 31, March March 31, 31, ---------------------- 2019 vs. 2019 (Dollars in thousands) 2019 2018 2018 vs. 2018 --------- - --------- - -------- - ------ Operating revenue: Truckload revenue, net of fuel surcharge revenue $ 80,167 $ 80,216 $ (49 ) (0.1 )% Truckload fuel surcharge revenue 11,555 12,801 (1,246 ) (9.7 ) - ------- - - ------- - - ------ - ----- Total Truckload revenue 91,722 93,017 (1,295 ) (1.4 ) - ------- - - ------- - - ------ - ----- Dedicated revenue, net of fuel surcharge revenue 48,924 42,364 6,560 15.5 Dedicated fuel surcharge revenue 8,801 6,469 2,332 36.0 - ------- - - ------- - - ------ - ----- Total Dedicated revenue 57,725 48,833 8,892 18.2 - ------- - - ------- - - ------ - ----- Intermodal revenue, net of fuel surcharge revenue 19,755 20,808 (1,053 ) (5.1 ) Intermodal fuel surcharge revenue 3,216 3,844 (628 ) (16.3 ) - ------- - - ------- - - ------ - ----- Total Intermodal revenue 22,971 24,652 (1,681 ) (6.8 ) - ------- - - ------- - - ------ - ----- Brokerage revenue 26,605 20,458 6,147 30.0 - ------- - - ------- - - ------ - ----- Total operating revenue $ 199,023 $ 186,960 $ 12,063 6.5 % - ------- - - ------- - - ------ - ----- Operating income: Truckload $ 7,555 $ 6,815 $ 740 10.9 % Dedicated 5,515 2,488 3,027 121.7 Intermodal 2,394 2,978 (584 ) (19.6 ) Brokerage 2,269 1,313 956 72.8 - ------- - - ------- - - ------ - ----- Total operating income $ 17,733 $ 13,594 $ 4,139 30.4 % - ------- - - ------- - - ------ - ----- Operating ratio: Truckload 91.8 % 92.7 % Dedicated 90.4 94.9 Intermodal 89.6 87.9 Brokerage 91.5 93.6 - ------- - - ------- Consolidated operating ratio 91.1 % 92.7 % - ------- - - -------

MARTEN TRANSPORT, LTD.OPERATING STATISTICS(Unaudited)

Three Months Ended March 31, -------------------- - 2019 2018 -------- - -------- - Truckload Segment: Revenue (in thousands) $ 91,722 $ 93,017 Average revenue, net of fuel surcharges, per tractor per week(1) $ 3,859 $ 3,679 Average tractors(1) 1,616 1,696 Average miles per trip 562 603 Non-revenue miles percentage(2) 11.3 % 6.8 % Total miles (in thousands) 37,236 40,582 Dedicated Segment: Revenue (in thousands) $ 57,725 $ 48,833 Average revenue, net of fuel surcharges, per tractor per week(1) $ 3,382 $ 3,267 Average tractors(1) 1,125 1,009 Average miles per trip 322 297 Non-revenue miles percentage(2) 0.6 % 1.1 % Total miles (in thousands) 23,643 21,135 Intermodal Segment: Revenue (in thousands) $ 22,971 $ 24,652 Loads 9,251 10,737 Average tractors 87 82 Brokerage Segment: Revenue (in thousands) $ 26,605 $ 20,458 Loads 15,266 11,889 At March 31, 2019 and March 31, 2018: Total tractors(1) 2,867 2,785 Average age of company tractors (in years) 1.8 1.6 Total trailers 5,313 5,308 Average age of company trailers (in years) 2.5 2.6 Ratio of trailers to tractors(1) 1.9 1.9

Three Months Ended March 31, --------------------- - (In thousands) 2019 2018 -------- - --------- - Net cash provided by operating activities $ 36,803 $ 23,182 Net cash (used for) investing activities (5,911 ) (27,392 ) Net cash (used for) financing activities (2,129 ) (1,183 ) Weighted average shares outstanding: Basic 54,553 54,572 Diluted 55,046 55,095

(1) Includes tractors driven by both company-employed drivers and independent contractors. Independent contractors provided 46 and 55 tractors as of March 31, 2019 and 2018, respectively. (2) Represents the percentage of miles for which the company is not compensated.

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