SkyWest reports quarterly income of $3.2 million, will remove 66 CRJ200s from the Delta contract

SkyWest, Inc. (SkyWest Airlines)  (St. George) today reported net income of $3.2 million, or $0.06 per diluted share, for the quarter ended March 31, 2013, compared to a net loss of  $(0.7) million, or $(0.01) per diluted share, for the same period last year.

Quarter Highlights

SkyWest’s financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2013 were slightly improved compared to the financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2012.  SkyWest generated a 2.8 percent increase in block hours which resulted in additional revenues of approximately $10.5 million; however, overall revenues decreased by a total of $117.7 million as a result of lower reimbursement payments of $99.7 million for fuel and $19.7 million for engine overhaul expenses, under its contracts with SkyWest’s major partners. The majority of fuel is now purchased directly by SkyWest’s major partners and as a result, SkyWest reports lower operating revenues and expenses.  SkyWest’s financial results were also negatively impacted during the quarter ended March 31, 2013 by severe weather which resulted in approximately 1,900 cancelled flights and 4,500 fewer block hours at an estimated impact of $4.5 million (pretax).

Following are some selected highlights for the quarter ended March 31, 2013 compared to the same period last year:

 (Unaudited)

Dollars in thousands, except per share amounts

Three Months Ended

March 31,

2013 2012  % Change
Total operating revenue $      803.5 $       921.2 (12.8)%
Total operating margin 1.9% 2.2%      (0.3)pts
Pretax income (loss) $          5.4 $         (1.2) NM
Net income (loss) $          3.2 $         (0.7) NM
Fully diluted earnings per share $        0.06 $       (0.01) NM
Block hours 571,991 556,421 2.8%

Commenting on the results, Jerry C. Atkin, SkyWest’s Chairman and CEO, said “We had planned to achieve improved financial results for the quarter just ended over the same period last year, however our results were negatively impacted primarily by weather and other operational challenges,”   He continued, “In spite of the challenges experienced during the quarter, we remain optimistic on our profit improvement objectives as well as improved operating results.”

Financial and Operating Results

Operating revenues totaled $803.5 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2013, compared to $921.2 million for the same period last year or a decrease of $117.7 million, or 12.8%. The decrease was due primarily to the reduction of $128.2 million of fuel and certain engine overhaul amounts which are directly reimbursed by major partners and recorded as operating revenues.  Total block hours for the quarter ended March 31, 2013 were 571,991, or an increase of 2.8 percent, compared to 556,421 for the same period last year, which generated approximately $10.5 million in additional revenues.

Total airline expenses (consisting of total operating and interest expenses) decreased $114.6 million, or 12.5%, during the quarter ended March 31, 2013, compared to the same period in 2012.  However, after excluding pass-through costs for fuel and certain engine overhaul expenses, total airline expenses increased $4.8 million or less than 1%.

Under United Express agreements for SkyWest Airlines, Inc. (“SkyWest Airlines”) and ExpressJet Airlines, Inc. (“ExpressJet Airlines”), SkyWest recognizes revenue at fixed hourly rates for mature engine maintenance on regional jet engines and SkyWest recognizes engine maintenance expense on its CRJ200 regional jet engines on an as-incurred basis as maintenance expense.  During the quarter ended March 31, 2013, CRJ200 engine expense under these agreements decreased $7.6 million to $10.0 million compared to $17.6 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2012, as a result of decreased engine overhaul expense due to the timing of scheduled engine maintenance events.  SkyWest was reimbursed approximately $11.4 million and $9.4 million for engine overhaul expense, under its United Express agreements, in each of the periods ended March 31, 2013 and 2012, respectively.

Liquidity

At March 31, 2013, SkyWest had $631.5 million in cash and marketable securities, compared to $709.4 million as of December 31, 2012.  The decrease in cash and marketable securities of $77.9 million was primarily the result of the payment of scheduled semi-annual lease and debt payments.  SkyWest’s long-term debt was $1.44 billion as of March 31, 2012, compared to $1.47 billion as of December 31, 2012.  The decrease in long-term debt was due primarily to SkyWest’s payment of normal recurring debt obligations.  SkyWest has significant long-term lease obligations that are recorded as operating leases and are not reflected as liabilities on SkyWest’s consolidated balance sheets.  At a 4.7% discount rate, the present value of these lease obligations was approximately $1.7 billion as of March 31, 2013.

Recent Business Developments

On August 2, 2012, SkyWest announced the award of 34 additional dual-class aircraft and the removal of 66 CRJ200 aircraft with Delta Airlines, Inc. (“Delta”) and has taken delivery of 33 of these dual-class aircraft. SkyWest anticipates removal of the 66 CRJ200 aircraft starting in October of 2013.

On September 11, 2012, SkyWest announced the signing of an agreement with American Airlines, Inc. (“American Airlines”) to operate 23 CRJ200 regional jet aircraft as American Eagle and had integrated 12 of these aircraft into operations by December 31, 2012. The remaining 11 aircraft were introduced into service February 14, 2013.

On July 11, 2012, SkyWest announced the execution of an Aircraft Purchase Agreement with Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation covering the purchase of 100 Mitsubishi regional jet aircraft. Deliveries are currently expected to begin in 2016.

SkyWest has increased its total fleet to 752 aircraft as of March 31, 2012, compared to 727 aircraft as of March 31, 2012.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. SkyWest will start the removal of 66 Bombardier CRJ200 aircraft from the Delta Connection contract starting in October 2013. Bombardier CRJ200 (CL-600-2B19) N408SW (msn 7055) completes its final approach into Los Angeles International Airport.

Delta Connection-SkyWest: AG Slide Show