SkyWest generated $31.5 million of net income for Q2 2015, or $0.61 per diluted share. This represents an improvement of $46.2 million from Q2 2014, which had a net loss of $(14.7) million, or $(0.29) per diluted share. Operating income for Q2 2015 was $70 million, which represents SkyWest’s best quarterly operating income since 2008.
SkyWest reported $41 million of net income for the first half of 2015, or $0.79 per diluted share, a $79 million improvement compared to the first half of 2014 which had a net loss of $(38) million, or $(0.73) per diluted share.
Q2 2015 Financial Highlights
- Pre-tax income increased $58 million in Q2 2015 from Q2 2014, primarily due to improved operating performance, additional flying contracts with improved profitability and a reduction in the number of aircraft operating under unprofitable flying contracts.
- SkyWest generated $135 million in EBITDA in Q2 2015, compared to $77 million in Q2 2014. For the first half of 2015 EBITDA was $234 million, compared to $112 million for the first half of 2014.
- Revenue included improvements of $32 million from the additional E175 operations, improved contract rates from renewals of SkyWest’s existing flying contracts and improved contract performance incentives compared to Q2 2014. Revenue also improved from Q2 2014 by $11 million from higher flight completion rates. These improvements provided a significant offset to the revenue decrease from a reduced fleet size and less scheduled production for a net decrease in revenue of $28 million year over year.
- Operating expenses were down by $85 million compared to Q2 2014, primarily driven by operating efficiencies from improved completion rates, a net decrease in production, maintenance cost initiatives and a reduction in fuel costs.
Q2 2015 Operational Update
- Excluding weather cancellations, the adjusted flight completion rate for ExpressJet Airlines, Inc. (“ExpressJet”) improved to 99.8% in Q2 2015 from 99.0% in Q2 2014. The adjusted flight completion rate for SkyWest Airlines, Inc. (“SkyWest Airlines”) also improved to 99.2% in Q2 2015 from 99.0% in Q2 2014.
- Including weather cancellations, ExpressJet’s raw flight completion rate was 97.5% in Q2 2015 compared to 95.3% in Q2 2014. SkyWest Airlines’ raw flight completion rate improved to 98.4% in Q2 2015 compared to 97.4% in Q2 2014.
- Total aircraft in service went to 676 at June 30, 2015, from 693 at March 31, 2015, summarized as follows:
1. Added six new E175 aircraft with United Air Lines, Inc. (“United”)
2. Added three new E175 aircraft with Alaska Air Group (“Alaska Airlines”)
3. Added ten used ERJ 145 aircraft with American Airlines, Inc. (“American”)
4. Removed 24 ERJ 145/ERJ 135 aircraft from service
5. Removed twelve EMB-120 turboprop aircraft from service
- Under its fleet transition, SkyWest generated approximately 24,000 additional block hours with its dual class aircraft (CRJ700s/900s and E175s) compared to Q2 2014. SkyWest also had a reduction of approximately 72,000 block hours with its 50-seat and smaller sized aircraft (CRJ200s, ERJ145s/135s and EMB120s) compared to Q2 2014. The total aircraft in service decreased to 676 at June 30, 2015 from 752 at June 30, 2014.
- Under an agreement announced in Q2 2015, SkyWest Airlines will place 8 additional E175 aircraft into service with Alaska Airlines, for a total of 15 E175s with Alaska Airlines. SkyWest Airlines is scheduled to take delivery of the remaining twelve new E175 aircraft for Alaska Airlines between Q4 2015 and Q4 2016.
- Under a previously announced agreement, SkyWest Airlines is scheduled to take delivery of five new E175 aircraft for United during Q3 2015.
Commenting on the results, Chip Childs, SkyWest, Inc. President, said,
“Our second quarter results reflect meaningful progress in our action plans to secure profitable flying contracts, remove unprofitable aircraft and provide solid operating performance. These actions are the primary drivers for the strong earnings momentum we are generating. We remain committed to disciplined deployment of capital and resources as we continue the process of optimizing our fleet size and mix.”
Q2 2015 Capital and Liquidity Update
- SkyWest had $505 million in cash and marketable securities at June 30, 2015, an increase of $24 million from March 2015. SkyWest made capital investments of $40 million during the quarter to acquire nine E175 aircraft including spare parts and engines.
- SkyWest repurchased 1.25 million shares of its common stock for $18.7 million in cash during Q2 2015
- The company issued $229 million in new long term debt to finance spare engines and the nine new E175s delivered during the quarter.
- SkyWest anticipates using approximately $30 million in cash as investments in E175 aircraft scheduled for delivery in Q3 and Q4 of 2015.
SkyWest’s two airline companies provide commercial air service in cities across the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean with more than 3,500 scheduled daily flights. SkyWest Airlines operates through partnerships with United, Delta, US Airways, American and Alaska Airlines. ExpressJet operates through partnerships with United, Delta and American.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. SkyWest is rapidly reducing the amount of 50-seat regional jets as the report states above. Its largest Bombardier CRJ200 customer is United Airlines but that too will continue to be reduced. Bombardier CRJ200 (CL-600-2B19) N956SW (msn 7871) in United Express colors departs from Los Angeles International Airport.
SkyWest Route Map: (click on the map for the full size view):
ExpressJet Route Map (click on the map for the full size view):