Friday, 3 August 2018

Atlas Air reports strong performance over 2018's second quarter.

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings announced strong second-quarter 2018 business growth this week and also and raised its outlook for full-year 2018, which it says has been driven by market strength and increased customer demand.

“Our volumes and revenue grew to new records in the second quarter, and while reported results were impacted by warrant accounting, our adjusted income and adjusted EBITDA were sharply higher,” said President and Chief Executive Officer William J. Flynn.

Atlas Air Worldwide is a leading global provider of outsourced aircraft and aviation operating services. Aas a group it operates the world’s largest fleet of 747 freighter aircraft as well as providing customers with a broad array of Boeing 747, 777, 767, 757 and 737 aircraft for domestic, regional and international cargo and passenger operations.



“We expect to continue to build on our strong performance in the second half of 2018. Airfreight demand is solid and the global economy is growing. As a result of our strategic initiatives to grow and diversify our fleet, expand our customer base and enhance our business mix, we are meeting the growing needs of our customers, driving our results and extending our leadership in global aviation outsourcing. For the full year, we now expect our revenue to exceed $2.6 billion. We project adjusted EBITDA to increase to more than $520 million. And we anticipate our full-year adjusted net income will grow by 45% to 50% compared with 2017, up from our prior outlook of 35% to 40% growth.” aid President and Chief Executive Officer William J. Flynn.



Second-Quarter Results

Volumes in the second quarter of 2018 increased 19% to a record 72,660 block hours, with revenue growing 29% to a record $666.1 million.

A reported loss from continuing operations, net of taxes, of $21.1 million, or $0.83 per diluted share, during the period compared with reported income of $39.0 million, or $0.92 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2017. Reported results in the second quarter of 2018 included an unrealized loss on outstanding warrants of $50.0 million compared with an unrealized gain on outstanding warrants of $13.8 million in the year-ago period, as well as a special charge of $9.4 million related to engines held for sale. 

On an adjusted basis, income from continuing operations, net of taxes, in the second quarter of 2018 increased $20.6 million to $49.7 million, or $1.75 per diluted share, from $29.1 million, or $1.09 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted EBITDA increased $23.1 million over the year-ago period to $125.5 million.

Reported and adjusted results for the second quarter included an after-tax benefit of $6.8 million related to a refund of aircraft rent paid in previous years. Reported and adjusted results for the period also included an after-tax benefit of $3.1 million mainly related to the timing of non-heavy maintenance expense initially expected to occur in the second quarter that is now anticipated to take place in the third quarter.  

ACMI segment contribution in the second quarter of 2018 was relatively unchanged from the prior-year period, as a significant increase in block-hour volumes and a higher average rate per block hour were offset by higher heavy maintenance expense and amortization of deferred maintenance costs. Block hours grew 19% during the period, reflecting increased 767 flying for Amazon, the start-up of 747-400 flying for several new customers, and the redeployment of 747-8F aircraft from the Charter segment to ACMI. The increase in the average rate during the quarter primarily reflected the impact of increased 747-8F and 747-400F flying for new customers. 

Higher Charter segment contribution during the period was primarily driven by increases in military cargo and passenger demand, an increase in commercial cargo volumes, and higher aircraft utilization, partially offset by the redeployment of 747-8 aircraft to the ACMI segment. Higher average rates during the quarter primarily reflected higher fuel prices and the impact of Charter capacity purchased from ACMI customers that had no associated Charter block hours. 

In Dry Leasing, higher segment contribution primarily reflected the placement of additional 767-300 converted freighter aircraft throughout the second half of 2017 and first half of 2018, as well as the placement of a 777-200 freighter in early 2018.

Higher unallocated income and expenses, net during the quarter primarily reflected an increase in unallocated interest expense, fleet growth initiatives, and amortization of a customer incentive asset.

Reported earnings in the second quarter of 2018 also included an effective income tax rate of 159.6%, due mainly to nondeductible changes in the value of outstanding warrants. On an adjusted basis, our results reflected an effective income tax rate of 16.2%.

Cash and Short-Term Investments

At June 30, 2018, our cash and cash equivalents, short-term investments and restricted cash totaled $245.4 million, compared with $305.5 million at December 31, 2017.

The change in position resulted from cash used for investing activities, partially offset by cash provided by operating and financing activities.

Net cash used for investing activities during the first half of 2018 primarily related to capital expenditures and payments for flight equipment and modifications, including the acquisition of 777-200 aircraft, 767-300 aircraft to be converted to freighter configuration, spare engines and GEnx engine performance upgrade kits.

Net cash provided by financing activities during the period primarily reflected proceeds from our financings of 777-200 and 767-300 aircraft, partially offset by payments on debt obligations. 

Half-Year Results

Reported results for the six months ended June 30, 2018 reflected a loss from continuing operations, net of taxes, of $11.5 million, or $0.45 per diluted share, primarily due to an unrealized loss on financial instruments of $57.8 million related to outstanding warrants and a special charge of $9.4 million related to engines held for sale. Results for the first half compared with income from continuing operations of $39.1 million, or $1.13 per diluted share, which included an unrealized gain on financial instruments of $8.6 million, for the six months ended June 30, 2017.

On an adjusted basis, first-half 2018 income from continuing operations, net of taxes, totaled $73.5 million, or $2.62 per diluted share, compared with $37.4 million, or $1.39 per diluted share, in the first half of 2017. 

Reported and adjusted results for the first half of 2018 also included $9.8 million of after-tax benefits related to the refund of aircraft rent and $3.1 million related to the timing of non-heavy maintenance expense discussed earlier. 

Raising 2018 Outlook

We are raising our outlook for 2018 to reflect our strong first-half results and our continued expectation of significant volume, revenue, and earnings growth.

Globally, economic activity is expanding. The airfreight market is solid, and airfreight tonnage continues to grow from record levels.

As a result, we see volumes rising approximately 19% to around 300,000 block hours in 2018, with about 75% of the hours in ACMI and the balance in Charter.

For the full year, we expect our revenue to exceed $2.6 billion, our adjusted EBITDA to increase to more than $520 million, and our adjusted net income to grow by 45% to 50% compared with 2017.

Aircraft maintenance expense in 2018 is expected to total approximately $330 million, mainly reflecting an increase in daily line maintenance due to the anticipated growth in block hours. Depreciation and amortization is expected to total approximately $220 million. In addition, core capital expenditures, which exclude aircraft and engine purchases, are expected to total approximately $105 to $115 million, mainly for parts and components for our fleet.

We also expect our full-year 2018 adjusted effective income tax rate to be approximately 15%. 

For the third quarter of 2018, we expect adjusted EBITDA to exceed $120 million, and adjusted net income to increase by an upper-30% to lower-40% level compared with third-quarter 2017 adjusted net income of $29.7 million.  

During the third quarter, we expect our Titan dry-leasing subsidiary to renew its participation in an aircraft-leasing incentive program in Singapore. As a result, we expect to record a deferred income tax benefit of approximately $8.2 million in the third quarter and to benefit from a reduced income tax rate going forward.

Also in the third quarter, we anticipate a ratification bonus related to an interim agreement to enhance the terms and conditions of employment of our Southern Air, Inc. pilots. The agreement is subject to ratification by the Southern Air pilots in a process that we expect to be completed by mid-August.  

We provide guidance on an adjusted basis because we are unable to predict, with reasonable certainty, the effects of outstanding warrants and other items that could be material to our reported results.
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