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Atlas Air reports a 1Q net profit, retires the last Boeing 747-200F freighter

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (Atlas Air) (New York) today announced earnings for the first quarter of 2012 and reaffirmed guidance for full-year earnings in excess of $5.10 per diluted share on both a reported and adjusted basis.

For the three months ended March 31, 2012, adjusted net income attributable to common stockholders totaled $13.6 million, or $0.51 per diluted share, compared with adjusted net income attributable to common stockholders of $12.7 million, or $0.49 per diluted share, for the three months ended March 31, 2011.

Adjusted results in the first quarter of 2012 exclude incremental costs related to the retirement of the company’s 747-200 fleet and gains on the disposal of assets. Adjusted results in the first quarter of 2011 exclude pre-operating expenses for the introduction of new aircraft types, including incremental costs incurred as a result of aircraft delivery delays, as well as gains on the disposal of assets.

On a reported basis, first-quarter 2012 net income attributable to common stockholders totaled $12.8 million, or $0.48 per diluted share, compared with $10.5 million, or $0.40 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2011. Revenues totaled $359.3 million in the first quarter of 2012 and $297.6 million in the first quarter of 2011.

After flying below minimums in January and February, the company’s ACMI customers flew approximately 11% above minimum block hours in March, reflecting the increase in demand and improvement in rates.

In addition to improved market conditions, earnings in the first quarter were favorably affected by the timing of aircraft engine maintenance activity. As a result, approximately $0.10 per diluted share of maintenance expense that was expected to occur in the first quarter will now be incurred in the second quarter.

Earnings in the first quarter of 2012 were also driven by revenue and volume growth in the company’s core ACMI business; strength in AMC Charter passenger volumes as well as an increase in premium-rate 747-400 cargo volumes; and revenue and volume growth in Commercial Charter. Results in each segment, however, were partially offset by increased crew and aircraft ownership costs compared with the first quarter of 2011. In addition, AMC Charter and Commercial Charter incurred higher costs associated with the wind down of the 747-200 fleet during the quarter, while AMC Charter was also affected by a decline in military cargo demand and Commercial Charter was affected by an increase in fuel expense.

Three of the company’s new 747-8F aircraft entered ACMI service in the fourth quarter of 2011 under a long-term contract with British Airways. Two additional -8F aircraft, which are expected to be delivered by the end of the summer, are under long-term ACMI contract with Panalpina. Two other -8F aircraft are expected to be placed into ACMI service upon delivery from Boeing in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. The Atlas Air Boeing 747-200F freighter fleet is now history with the last airframe being retired in the first quarter.

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