SkyWest, Inc. announces second quarter 2018 profit

Second Quarter Highlights:

  • Net income of $76 million, or $1.43 per diluted share, up from $50 million or $0.95 per diluted share in Q2 2017
  • Pre-tax income of $98 million, up 21% from $81 million in Q2 2017
  • New agreement to operate 20 new CRJ900s for Delta Air Lines under a nine-year term, replacing 20 CRJ700s expiring from contract
  • New agreement to place 20 used CRJ700s with American Airlines under a four-year term
  • Three-year extension on 19 CRJ700s scheduled to expire in 2019/2020 with United Airlines
  • New agreement to place 20 internally-sourced CRJ200s under a three-year contract with United

SkyWest, Inc. has reported its financial and operating results for Q2 2018, including net income of $76 million, or $1.43 per diluted share, compared to net income of $50 million, or $0.95 per diluted share for Q2 2017.  Q2 2018 pre-tax income of $98 million increased 21% from Q2 2017 and was primarily due to SkyWest’s ongoing fleet transition.

Since Q2 2017, SkyWest added 23 new E175 aircraft and removed 34 CRJ700/CRJ900 aircraft and 32 CRJ200/ERJ145 aircraft.

Commenting on the results, Chip Childs, Chief Executive Officer and President of SkyWest, said “We are focused on remaining disciplined in our execution of fleet solutions that meet the needs of our customers.  The agreements and extensions announced this quarter are expected to continue to improve our fleet mix in alignment with our overall fleet transition strategy. I appreciate the dedicated service our professionals consistently provide to our customers.”

Flying Agreement Announcements

Delta:

SkyWest Airlines, Inc. reached an agreement with Delta Air Lines to operate 20 new Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft under a nine-year flying contract.  The aircraft will be acquired by Delta under a previously announced agreement with Bombardier and operated by SkyWest Airlines.  SkyWest Airlines anticipates placing the 20 CRJ900s into service beginning late 2018 through 2020. These aircraft will have the ATMOSPHÈRE cabin with a 70-seat, dual-class configuration and will replace 20 CRJ700s scheduled to expire under SkyWest’s flying contracts with Delta.

American:

SkyWest Airlines reached an agreement with American Airlines to place 20 used Bombardier CRJ700s under a four-year contract.  The 20 CRJ700s are expected to be sourced from within SkyWest’s fleet.  The first aircraft in this agreement was placed into service in June 2018 and all 20 aircraft are scheduled to be in service by early 2019.

United:

SkyWest Airlines reached an agreement with United Airlines to extend their existing flying contract on 19 Bombardier CRJ700s operated by SkyWest Airlines.  These aircraft previously had contract expirations scheduled for mid-2019/2020 and were extended for three years.

Separately, ExpressJet Airlines, Inc. reached an agreement with United to a three-year contract for 20 used CRJ200s.  The 20 CRJ200s are expected to be sourced from within SkyWest’s fleet through contract expirations with other partners scheduled for the second half of 2018.  The 20 CRJ200s are expected to be placed into service with United between the latter part of 2018 and early 2019.

United Express-SkyWest Airlines Bombardier CRJ200 (CL-600-2B19) N479CA (msn 7675) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 941704.

Above Copyright Photo: United Express-SkyWest Airlines Bombardier CRJ200 (CL-600-2B19) N479CA (msn 7675) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 941704.

Financial Highlights
Revenue was $806 million in Q2 2018, up from $792 million in Q2 2017. The increase in revenue included the net impact of adding 23 new E175 aircraft and other economic improvements within SkyWest’s fleet mix since Q2 2017, partially offset by the removal of unprofitable or less-profitable aircraft over the same period.

Operating expenses were $679 million in Q2 2018, down from $685 million in Q2 2017.  The decrease in operating expenses was primarily due to the reduction in direct operating costs with the net removal of 43 aircraft from service.

The effective tax rate for Q2 2018 was 23% compared to 38% in Q2 2017.  The lower tax rate in Q2 2018 was primarily due to the reduced federal rate under the new tax law enacted in Q4 2017.

Operational Update
SkyWest Airlines took delivery of 14 new E175/E175 SC aircraft during Q2 2018.  The following summarizes the anticipated delivery dates for three E175 aircraft to be placed under contract with Alaska Airlines and 17 E175 SC aircraft to be placed under contract with Delta for the second half of 2018:

In-service

Scheduled E175/E175 SC

aircraft deliveries

Anticipated
in-service

June 30, 2018

Q3 2018

Q4 2018

Dec 31, 2018

Total E175/E175 SCs:

126

15

5

146

ExpressJet continued the previously-announced wind down of its flying agreement with Delta during the quarter.  At the end of Q2 2018, ExpressJet had 22 CRJ700s remaining in service under the Delta agreement.  ExpressJet continues to engage in discussions around the CRJ700s scheduled to come out of service with Delta later this year and remains positive with alternative opportunities to utilize these CRJ700 aircraft.

ExpressJet anticipates its flying contract with American for 12 CRJ700s scheduled to terminate in early 2019 will not be extended.  These aircraft are expected to be returned to the lessors following removal of service with American.

Operating Performance:

Flight completion rates at SkyWest Airlines and ExpressJet for Q2 2018 and Q2 2017 were:

SkyWest Airlines

ExpressJet

Q2 2018

Q2 2017

Q2 2018

Q2 2017

Adjusted Completion *

99.9%

99.9%

99.9%

99.9%

Raw Completion

98.9%

98.9%

98.8%

97.6%

* Adjusted Completion excludes weather cancellations. Raw Completion includes weather cancellations.

Capital and Liquidity

SkyWest had $649 million in cash and marketable securities at June 30, 2018, slightly up from March 31, 2018. During the second quarter of 2018, SkyWest:

  • Used $50 million toward the purchase of 14 E175 aircraft
  • Used $35 million for other capital investments, including spare engines and aircraft parts

Total debt at June 30, 2018 was $3.0 billion, up $193 million from March 31, 2018, which included debt issued for 14 E175 aircraft acquired during the quarter, partially offset by scheduled principal payments.

United Express-SkyWest aircraft slide show:

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