Smithway Motor Xpress Corp. said today that its third-quarter operating revenue was $5.3 million less than it was last year.

CEO William G. Smith said its operating revenue was $43.3 million compared with $48.6 million during the same 2001 quarter. However, its net loss was $757,000 compared with net loss of $1.2 million then.

For the first nine months of this year, operating revenue was $129.7 million compared with $147.7 million during the 2001 period.

"As a result of hard work throughout our company, Smithway was profitable in September," Smith said. "Although the winter months can be difficult, we anticipate that continued focus on our core goals will drive better results over time, particularly when shipping demand in the Midwest picks up."

Smith added that the company's strict hiring standards have contributed to an excellent safety record and have helped to control claims expenses.