Spirit Airlines, Inc. (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) today reported first quarter 2014 financial results.
Adjusted net income for the first quarter 2014 increased 15.4 percent to $37.8 million ($0.52 per diluted share) compared to $32.8 million ($0.45 per diluted share) for the first quarter 20131. GAAP net income for the first quarter 2014 was $37.7 million ($0.51 per diluted share) compared to $30.6 million ($0.42 per diluted share) in the first quarter 2013.
For the first quarter 2014, Spirit achieved an adjusted pre-tax margin of 13.7 percent compared to 14.4 percent over the same period in 20131. On a GAAP basis, pre-tax margin for the first quarter 2014 was 13.7 percent compared to 13.4 percent in the first quarter 2013.
Spirit ended the first quarter 2014 with $544.0 million in unrestricted cash.
Spirit’s return on invested capital (before taxes and excluding special items) for the twelve months ended March 31, 2014 was 31.2 percent. See “Calculation for Return on Invested Capital” table below for more details.
“During the first quarter, our team did a great job serving our customers while overcoming the challenges caused by numerous severe winter storms and managing to the new crew duty and rest rules. Our solid operational and financial performance in the first quarter is a great start to the year and provides a firm foundation as we grow our business and bring our low fares to more people in more places,” said Ben Baldanza, Spirit’s Chief Executive Officer.
For the first quarter 2014, Spirit’s total operating revenue was $438.0 million, an increase of 18.2 percent compared to the first quarter 2013. The increase was primarily driven by our growth in flight volume. In the first quarter 2014, Spirit had 256 weather-related flight cancellations compared to 59 in the first quarter 2013, which negatively impacted revenue for the quarter.
Total revenue per available seat mile (“RASM”) for the first quarter 2014 was 11.57 cents, a decrease of 2.4 percent compared to the first quarter 2013. Average stage length for the first quarter 2014 increased 6.3 percent year over year, contributing an estimated 3.0 percentage point decline in RASM. In the first quarter 2014, RASM was further impacted by an estimated 1.5 percentage points due to the calendar shift of Easter occurring in April this year compared to in March last year.
Passenger flight segment (“PFS”) volume for the first quarter 2014 grew 17.9 percent year over year, and the Company’s load factor for the first quarter 2014 increased 1.8 points year over year. Total revenue per PFS for the first quarter 2014 increased 0.3 percent year over year to $134.20.
Total operating expenses for the first quarter 2014 increased 17.9 percent year over year to $378.0 million on a capacity increase of 21.0 percent.
Spirit reported first quarter 2014 cost per available seat mile excluding special items and fuel (“Adjusted CASM ex-fuel”) of 6.06 cents, an increase of 0.3 percent compared to the same period last year. An increased number of scheduled maintenance events resulted in higher depreciation and amortization expense and higher maintenance, material and repairs expense per ASM. These expenses were partially offset by improved operational reliability, resulting in lower passenger re-accommodation expense (recorded within Other operating expense) per ASM. The Company also benefited from lower aircraft rent per ASM.
Selected Balance Sheet and Cash Flow Items
As of March 31, 2014, Spirit had $544.0 million in unrestricted cash and cash equivalents, no restricted cash, no debt on its balance sheet, and total shareholders’ equity of $809.4 million.
In the first quarter 2014, Spirit incurred capital expenditures of $4.1 million, paid $73.2 million in pre-delivery deposits for future deliveries of aircraft, net of refunds, and recorded an increase of $14.7 million in maintenance deposits, net of reimbursements.
In the first quarter 2014, Spirit took delivery of two new A320 aircraft, ending the quarter with 56 aircraft in its fleet. During the quarter, the Company signed an amendment to its aircraft purchase agreement with Airbus; changes include the conversion of five (5) A320 ceo aircraft to A321 ceo aircraft, the conversion of five (5) A320 neo aircraft to A321 neo aircraft, the acceleration of one (1) A321 ceo aircraft from 2016 to 2015, and the deferral of two (2) A320 ceo aircraft from 2017 to 2018.
First Quarter 2014 and Other Current Highlights
• Added/announced new service between (service start date):
– Minneapolis-St. Paul and Houston (5/1/14)2
– Minneapolis-St. Paul and Baltimore/Washington (5/1/14)2
– Chicago O’Hare and Oakland/San Francisco (5/1/14)
– Minneapolis-St. Paul and Detroit (5/22/14)2
– Chicago O’Hare and Baltimore/Washington (5/22/14)2
– Chicago O’Hare and Portland, OR (5/22/14)2
– Fort Lauderdale and New Orleans (8/1/14)
– Houston and New Orleans (8/1/14)
– Houston and Atlanta (8/1/14)
– Kansas City and Chicago (8/7/14)
– Kansas City and Dallas/Fort Worth (8/7/14)
– Kansas City and Detroit (8/7/14)
– Kansas City and Las Vegas (8/7/14)
– Kansas City and Houston (8/8/14)
– Fort Lauderdale and Houston (9/3/14)
– Houston and San Diego (9/3/14)
• Maintained its commitment to offer low fares to its valued customers; average ticket revenue per passenger flight segment for the first quarter 2014 was $77.79 with total revenue per passenger flight segment of $134.20.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-132 N506NK (msn 2490) departs the runway at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL).