SkyWest reports increased net income of $20.7 million in the second quarter

SkyWest, Inc. (SkyWest Airlines and Atlantic Southeast Airlines) (St. George) today reported net income of $20.7 million, or $0.39 per diluted share, for the quarter ended June 30, 2013, compared to net income of $17.0 million, or $0.33 per diluted share, for the same period last year.

SkyWest also reported net income of $24.0 million, or $0.46 per diluted share, for the six months ended June 30, 2013, compared to $16.3 million, or $0.32 per diluted share, for the same period last year.

Quarter Highlights

SkyWest experienced improved financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 2013 compared to its financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 2012.  SkyWest generated additional block hour production and corresponding operating revenues (after giving effect to reduced fuel and certain engine overhaul pass through revenues) as a result of increased utilization and increasing the size of its aircraft fleet between June 30, 2013 and June 30, 2012.  Following are selected highlights from SkyWest’s quarter ended June 30, 2013, compared to the quarter ended June 30, 2012:

  • Increased pretax income 17.8% to $33.7 million, compared to $28.6 million
  • Increased fully-diluted EPS 18.2% to $0.39, compared to $0.33
  • Increased block hour production 6.1% to 609,711 block hours, compared to 574,884 block hours
  • Recorded approximately $28.2 million in additional revenues (net of fuel and certain engine overhaul pass through revenues), primarily related to increased block hour production
  • Increased total aircraft fleet to 760 aircraft as of June 30, 2013, compared to 725 aircraft as of June 30, 2012

Commenting on the results, Jerry C. Atkin, SkyWest’s Chairman and CEO, said “We are pleased with the progress we continue to make in producing improved operational and financial performance as compared to the same period last year.”  He continued, “We will remain focused on our profit improvement objectives while continuing to deal with the ever-present challenges in the airline industry.”

Financial and Operating Results

Operating revenues totaled $839.1 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2013, compared to $937.2 million for the same period last year or a decrease of $98.1 million.  The decrease was due primarily to the reduction of $117.9 million of fuel and certain engine overhaul amounts which were directly reimbursed by SkyWest’s major partners and recorded as operating revenues.  However, this reduction was partially offset by recording approximately $28.2 million in additional operating revenues primarily resulting from a 6.1% increase total block hours for the quarter ended June 30, 2013, compared to the quarter ended June 30, 2012.

Total airline expenses (consisting of total operating and interest expenses) decreased $103.7 million, or 11.4%, during the quarter ended June 30, 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 $14.2 million or only 1.9% which was less than the 6.1% increase in block hours produced.

Under certain of its agreements with its major partners, 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 June 30, 2013, CRJ200 engine expense under these agreements decreased $3.2 million to $10.6 million compared to $13.8 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2012, as a result of decreased engine overhaul expense due to the timing of scheduled engine maintenance events.  SkyWest was reimbursed approximately $12.8 million and $10.2 million for engine overhaul expense, under its agreements, in each of the periods ended June 30, 2013 and 2012, respectively.

Liquidity

At June 30, 2013, SkyWest had $665.6 million in cash and marketable securities, compared to $709.4 million as of December 31, 2012.  The decrease in cash and marketable securities of $43.8 million was primarily the result of the payment of scheduled semi-annual lease and debt payments as well as making deposits on recent aircraft orders.  Cash and marketable securities increased $34.1 million during the quarter ended June 30, 2013 compared to the balance of $631.5 as of the quarter ended March 31, 2013.  SkyWest’s long-term debt was $1.38 billion as of June 30, 2013, compared to $1.47 billion as of December 31, 2012.  The decrease in long-term debt for the six-months ended June 30, 2013 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 $1.5 billion as of June 30, 2013.

Recent Business Developments

On May 21, 2013, SkyWest announced it had entered into a Capacity Purchase Agreement (“CPA”) with United Airlines, Inc. (Chicago) to operate 40 new Embraer ERJ 175 dual-class regional jet aircraft. The CPA is for 12 years and the aircraft will be operated by SkyWest’s wholly-owned subsidiary, SkyWest Airlines, Inc. (St. George). Deliveries for these aircraft are scheduled to begin in April 2014 and continue through August 2015.

Additionally, on May 21, 2013 SkyWest announced it reached an agreement with Embraer S.A. for the purchase of 100 new ERJ 175 dual-class regional jet aircraft, 40 of which are considered firm and 60 aircraft remain conditional upon SkyWest entering into capacity purchase agreements with other major airlines. SkyWest intends to place the 40 new aircraft into service under the terms of the United CPA discussed above.

On June 17, 2013, SkyWest and Embraer jointly announced an aircraft purchase agreement covering 100 E175-E2 dual-class regional jet aircraft and an option to purchase an additional 100 of the same aircraft.  Deliveries for these E2 aircraft are tentatively planned for 2020.

On August 2, 2012, SkyWest announced the award of 34 additional dual-class aircraft and the removal of 66 CRJ200 aircraft under its Delta Connection Agreements with Delta Airlines, Inc. (Atlanta) and by end of May 2013, all 34 of these dual-class aircraft had been delivered. As of June 30, 2013 SkyWest had removed 24 (22 placed in contract with another partner; other 2 removed from fleet) of the 66 CRJ200 aircraft and currently anticipates removing another 24 CRJ200 aircraft during the months of September 2013 through December 2013.  These 24 aircraft have been financed by Delta and will be returned to Delta with no further obligation by SkyWest.  SkyWest believes the remaining 18 aircraft will be removed at various times through 2014 and early 2015.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. The CRJ200s will be totally removed from the Delta Connection contract by early 2015. SkyWest Airlines Bombardier CRJ200 (CL-600-2B19) N423SW (msn 7456) approaches Los Angeles International Airport.

Delta Connection-SkyWest Airlines: AG Slide Show