Allegiant Travel Company releases its third quarter 2018 financial results, the last MD-80 to be retired after Thanksgiving holiday period

Allegiant Air McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) N411NV (msn 53245) RDU (Ton Jochems). Image: 944220.

Allegiant Travel Company (Allegiant Air) has reported the following financial results for the third quarter 2018, as well as comparisons to the prior year:

Three Months Ended September 30, Nine Months Ended September 30,
Unaudited 2018 2017 Change 2018 2017 Change
Total operating revenue (millions) $ 393.1 $ 350.2 12.3 % $ 1,255.3 $ 1,132.0 10.9 %
Operating income (millions) 26.2 44.3 (41.0 ) 180.4 203.9 (11.5 )
Net income (millions) 15.1 23.4 (35.2 ) 120.4 114.8 4.9
Diluted earnings per share $ 0.94 $ 1.45 (35.2 ) $ 7.45 $ 6.99 6.6

“We are proud to announce our 63rd consecutive profitable quarter,” stated Maurice J. Gallagher, Jr., chairman and CEO of Allegiant Travel Company.  “Our transition to an all-Airbus fleet is nearly complete.  Our decision to move the transition up by a year from 2019 to 2018 has proven to be an excellent one given the higher fuel cost environment.  Compared to our all-MD-80 fleet from 2010, we expect our ASMs per gallon to increase by almost 40 percent in 2019, from 59 ASMs per gallon to the low 80s.

“This has been a busy couple of years across the Company as we transitioned our fleet.  Since the end of 2016:

We will have purchased and inducted 43 Airbus aircraft, while retiring 47 MDs.  We will have trained more than 350 Airbus pilots and 300 maintenance technicians as well as our flight attendants, ground staff and other operations personnel by the time we fly the final MD-80 flight at the end of November.

We have grown the Company 20 percent in capacity (ASMs), adding 51 routes and carrying 13.6 million passengers during the last twelve months, an increase of 1.64 million passengers over 2016.

We have dramatically improved our operations.  Since last October, we have led the industry in monthly completion factor six times and have been among the top three except for a few months.  Our on-time performance is improving nicely as well; this September we were up ten percentage points in A14, from 72 percent to 82 percent.

“I couldn’t be more excited about where we are at this point in our history.  As we outlined in our Sunseeker Resort investor day, we are ready for Allegiant 2.0.  Stay tuned!

“Needless to say, we couldn’t have accomplished this difficult transition without our great group of team members.  They have done an amazing job this quarter – as well as over this entire past year – with the highly complex effort to transition our fleet and improve our operations.  Hats off to the entire team for their tireless professionalism in any environment.”

Shareholder returns

  • 2018 shareholder returns – over $33 million in the first three quarters of the year through dividends
    ° Will pay dividends of $0.70 per share on December 5, 2018 to shareholders of record as of November 23, 2018

2018 outlook

  • Fourth quarter scheduled and system ASMs are expected to grow between four and six percent vs last year
    ° The remaining MD-80s will be retired immediately after the Thanksgiving travel period
  • 2018 full year ASM growth is expected to be between 9.5 and 10.5 percent
  • 2018 full year tax rate is expected to be between 18 and 19 percent
  • 2018 full year average fuel cost is expected to be $2.38 per gallon using the forward curve as of October 23, 2018
  • Due to several one-time maintenance events, 2018 maintenance per aircraft per month is expected to be between $90 and $95 thousand
  • 2018 EPS is expected to be between $9 and $10 per share even with the higher than expected fuel cost
Guidance, subject to revision
Full year 2018 guidance Previous* Current
Fuel cost per gallon $2.35 $2.38
Available seat miles (ASMs) / gallon 77.5 to 78.5 77.5 to 78.5
Interest expense (millions) $50 to $60 $50 to $60
Tax rate 21 to 22% 18 to 19%
Share count (millions)  15.9  15.9
Earnings per share $9 to $10 $9 to $10
System ASMs – year over year change 9 to 11% 9.5 to 10.5%
Scheduled service ASMs – year over year change 9 to 11% 9.5 to 10.5%
Depreciation expense / aircraft / month (thousands) $115 to $120 $115 to $120
Maintenance expense / aircraft / month (thousands) $80 to $85 $90 to $95
Full year 2018 CAPEX guidance
Capital expenditures (millions) ** $300 $300
Capitalized Airbus deferred heavy maintenance (millions) *** $45 $45
Sunseeker CAPEX
2018 year to date (millions) $15
Project since inception (millions) $46

* – Previous guidance as of July 25, 2018
** – Excludes Sunseeker Resorts
*** – Not included in capital expenditure total

Aircraft fleet plan by end of period
Aircraft – (seats per AC) 1Q18 2Q18 3Q18 YE18
MD-80 (166 seats) 32 27 19
A319 (156 seats) 26 31 31 32
A320 (177/186 seats) 30 35 43 44
Total 88 93 93 76

Aircraft listed in table above include only in-service aircraft, planned retirements and future aircraft under contract (subject to change).

Top Copyright Photo: Allegiant Air McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) N411NV (msn 53245) RDU (Ton Jochems). Image: 944220.

Allegiant aircraft slide show:

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