Monday, 23 April 2018

Alaska Air Group reports First Quarter 2018 results

Alaska Airlines has reported its 2018 first-quarter results this week ...the airline reported a net income of $4 million, or $0.03 per diluted share, compared to $93 million, or $0.75 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2017. Excluding the impact of certain noted items, the company reported adjusted net income of $18 million, or $0.14 per diluted share, compared to $124 million, or $0.99 per diluted share, in 2017.

"Alaska is on an incredible journey. I want to thank our employees for continuing to run a highly reliable operation and for providing genuine and caring service to our guests in the midst of a complex merger," said Brad Tilden, Alaska's CEO. "We're excited to get the biggest integration milestones behind us in the next couple of months and then turn our full focus to running a great airline and realizing the full benefit of our new and expanded platform."


Some of the key highlights -

Reported net income for the first quarter under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) of $4 million, or $0.03 per diluted share, compared to net income of $93 million, or $0.75 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2017. As the company has recently implemented new accounting standards, including the standards relating to revenue recognition and retirement benefits, 2017 financial information has been adjusted.

Reported first quarter 2018 adjusted diluted earnings per share of $0.14 compared to $0.99 reported in the first quarter of 2017. First quarter adjusted net income excluding special items such as merger-related costs, an employee bonus awarded in connection with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and mark-to-market fuel hedge accounting adjustments was $18 million, compared to $124 million in the first quarter of 2017. This quarter's adjusted results compare to the First Call analyst consensus estimate of $0.12 per share.
Paid a $0.32 per-share quarterly cash dividend in the first quarter, a 7% increase over the dividend paid in the first quarter of 2017.

Repurchased a total of 185,661 shares of common stock for approximately $12 million in the first three months of 2018.

Generated approximately $310 million of operating cash flow and used approximately $235 million for capital expenditures, resulting in approximately $75 million of free cash flow for the first three months of 2018.

Held $1.5 billion in unrestricted cash and marketable securities as of March 31, 2018.
Operational Highlights:
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Operational Highlights:

Obtained a single operating certificate (SOC) from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for Alaska Airlines and Virgin America, our most significant integration milestone to date. The SOC recognizes Alaska and Virgin America as one airline.

Reached an agreement in early April 2018 with mainline flight attendants that includes a merger transition plan and a two-year extension from December 2019 to December 2021. The agreement provides pay increases and paves the way to fully align nearly 5,700 mainline flight attendants under a single agreement.

Expanded our codeshare partnerships with Japan Airlines, Fiji Airways, Cathay Pacific and Finnair.

Began installation of next-generation Gogo satellite-based Wi-Fi in the first quarter of 2018, which will provide guests a faster internet connection across the Boeing and Airbus fleets.

Added one Boeing 737-900ER aircraft and two Airbus A321neo aircraft to the mainline operating fleet in the first quarter of 2018. Added one Embraer 175 (E175) regional jet to Horizon Air's fleet in the first quarter of 2018 and added two E175 aircraft operated by SkyWest Airlines.

Recognition and Awards:

Ranked No. 1 in the "Airline Quality Rating" of performance and quality for the second year in a row — a study performed by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University focused on four major areas of airline performance. 
Ranked as one of only two U.S. airlines in the Top 20 safest airlines in the world for 2018 by AirlineRatings.com.
Ranked the best U.S. airline by Time Inc.'s Money Magazine.
Ranked the best airline in America for the second year in a row by The Points Guy.
Ranked the No. 2 U.S airline by the Wall Street Journal's "2017 Airline Scorecard."
Ranked the second best U.S. airline by Consumer Reports.
Awarded 2018 PRWeek Best Promotional Event award for Alaska's Great American Eclipse Flight.


 The following table reconciles the company's reported GAAP net income and earnings per diluted share (diluted EPS) for the three months ended March 31, 2018 and 2017 to adjusted amounts.

Three Months Ended March 31,

2018

2017 (a)
(in millions, except per-share amounts)
Dollars

Diluted EPS

Dollars

Diluted EPS
GAAP net income and diluted EPS
$
4


$
0.03


$
93


$
0.75

Mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments
(13)


(0.11)


10


0.08

Special items—employee tax reform bonus
25


0.20





Special items—merger-related costs
6


0.05


39


0.30

Income tax effect
(4)


(0.03)


(18)


(0.14)

Non-GAAP adjusted net income and diluted EPS
$
18


$
0.14


$
124


$
0.99


(a)
Certain historical information has been adjusted to reflect the adoption of new accounting standards.





CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS (unaudited)
Alaska Air Group, Inc.












Three Months Ended March 31,
(in millions, except per-share amounts)
2018

2017(a)

Change
Operating Revenues:





Passenger revenue
1,685


1,602


5
%
Mileage plan other revenue
107


100


7
%
Cargo and other
40


38


5
%
Total Operating Revenues
1,832


1,740


5
%
Operating Expenses:





Wages and benefits
536


450


19
%
Variable incentive pay
39


31


26
%
Aircraft fuel, including hedging gains and losses
409


339


21
%
Aircraft maintenance
107


87


23
%
Aircraft rent
74


65


14
%
Landing fees and other rentals
126


115


10
%
Contracted services
81


81


%
Selling expenses
78


83


(6)
%
Depreciation and amortization
94


90


4
%
Food and beverage service
50


45


11
%
Third-party regional carrier expense
37


27


37
%
Other
141


131


8
%
Special items—merger-related costs
6


39


(85)
%
Special items—other
25




NM
Total Operating Expenses
1,803


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