Freight-hauler Arkansas Best Corp. reported a narrower first-quarter loss even though it said higher staff compensation costs and adverse weather masked an increase in revenue.

Quarterly revenue increased to $359.6 million from $320.2 million, the company said. It added that operating expenses and other costs increased to $349.7 million from $315.4 million a year ago.

Fort Smith, AR-based Arkansas Best said its quarterly net loss was $734,000 compared with $22.5 million a year earlier.

Looking ahead, Arkansas Best said it expects its debt to be substantially below the $110.0 million level on which interest payments were hedged with an interest rate swap. The company's shares ended on Friday at $29.18 on the Nasdaq stock market.