Friday, 2 August 2019

Atlas Air Worldwide Reports Second-Quarter 2019 Results

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. has announced its second-quarter 2019 income from continuing operations, net of taxes, of $86.9 million, or $1.61 per diluted share, compared with a reported loss of $21.1 million, or $0.83 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2018.

Reported results in the second quarter of 2019 included $59.8 million of tax benefits related to the favourable completion of an Internal Revenue Service examination of the company’s 2015 income tax return and an unrealized gain on outstanding warrants of $42.3 million. Reported results for the second quarter of 2018 included an unrealized loss on outstanding warrants of $50.0 million. 


On an adjusted basis, EBITDA totalled $86.4 million in the second quarter this year compared with $125.5 million in the year-ago second quarter. Adjusted income from continuing operations, net of taxes, in the second quarter of 2019 totalled $4.5 million, or $0.17 per diluted share, compared with $49.7 million, or $1.75 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter.

“Revenue and earnings in the second quarter were below our expectations, as air cargo volumes and yields were affected in the near term by the widely reported impact of tariffs and trade tensions,” said Chief Executive Officer William J. Flynn. “In addition, our results during the period were impacted by labour-related service disruptions.

“With manufacturers and shippers taking a wait-and-see approach regarding tariffs and trade issues during the course of the quarter, we experienced a softening in anticipated commercial cargo block hours and yields in our Charter segment. On the military side of Charter, our cargo hours were in line with our expectations for the quarter and were up from the first quarter of this year as we anticipated they would be, but passenger demand for the military was less than expected.”    

Mr. Flynn added: “Although these factors are near-term headwinds for our industry, we are well-positioned and managing through them, and are maintaining our focus on our longer-term strategies and growth drivers.

“Our actions include ongoing continuous improvement initiatives designed to increase productivity, enhance efficiency, and grow the business. Additionally, we remain committed to negotiating a competitive collective bargaining agreement for our pilots. Our recent bargaining sessions have made progress, and we look forward to the upcoming scheduled sessions to continue that progress toward an agreement that all parties want.”

He continued: “Based on current conditions, we now anticipate that our full-year adjusted net income will total approximately 80% of our 2018 adjusted net income.* Despite the present trade tensions and the resulting impacts on global airfreight, we have the right building blocks for the future, including our world-class employees; the modern, efficient, diversified aircraft and services that customers want; our focus on express, e-commerce and fast-growing markets; the scale and scope of our enterprise; and our leadership position in global aviation outsourcing.”

Second-Quarter Results

Revenue in the second quarter of 2019 was relatively in line with revenue in the second quarter of 2018. Higher volumes during the period reflected an increase in ACMI flying that was partially offset by a decrease in Charter flying.  

Higher ACMI segment revenue during the period reflected an increase in 767 and 737 flying, the start-up of 747-400 flying for new customers, and incremental 777 flying, partially offset by a decrease in the average rate per block hour primarily related to the growth in smaller-gauge 767 and 737 CMI flying.

ACMI segment contribution decreased during the quarter as increased levels of flying were more than offset by higher crew costs, including enhanced wages and work rules resulting from our interim agreement with pilots at Southern Air; additional heavy maintenance expense; and increased amortization of deferred maintenance costs. In addition, segment contribution was impacted by start-up costs for customer-growth initiatives as well as labour-related service disruptions.

Lower Charter segment revenue during the period was primarily driven by lower levels of flying and a decrease in average rate per block hour. Block-hour volumes primarily reflected a year-over-year decline in cargo and passenger demand from the military, and lower cargo demand from commercial customers reflecting the impact of tariffs and global trade tensions. The decrease in average rate primarily reflected lower commercial cargo yields (excluding fuel), partially offset by an increase in rates for the military.

Lower Charter segment contribution was driven by the decrease in commercial cargo yields and volumes related to the impact of tariffs and global trade tensions; a decrease in military cargo and passenger flying; and additional heavy maintenance expense. Results were also affected by labour-related service disruptions.

In Dry Leasing, higher segment revenue during the quarter primarily reflected the placement of additional 767-300 converted freighter aircraft throughout 2018, as well as the placement of one 777-200 freighter in July 2018, partially offset by the scheduled return of a 777-200 freighter in March 2019 that is awaiting placement with a customer. Lower segment contribution was primarily due to the scheduled return of that 777-200 freighter in March 2019, partially offset by the placement of additional aircraft.

Higher unallocated income and expenses, net, during the quarter primarily reflected the recognition in the second quarter of 2018 of a refund of aircraft rent paid in previous years; fleet growth initiatives; and increased amortization of a customer incentive asset.

Reported earnings in the second quarter of 2019 also included an income tax benefit due mainly to the favourable completion of an IRS examination of our 2015 income tax return and, to a lesser extent, nontaxable changes in the fair value of outstanding warrants. On an adjusted basis, our results reflected an income tax benefit primarily related to the favourable completion of the IRS examination.

Cash and Short-Term Investments

At June 30, 2019, our cash and cash equivalents, short-term investments and restricted cash totalled $127.9 million, compared with $248.4 million at December 31, 2018.

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

Net cash used for investing activities during the first half of 2019 primarily related to capital expenditures and payments for flight equipment and modifications, including 767-300 aircraft and related freighter conversion costs, spare engines and GEnx engine performance upgrade kits.

Net cash used for financing activities during the period primarily reflected payments on debt obligations.

Half-Year Results

Reported results for the six months ended June 30, 2019, reflected income from continuing operations, nett of taxes, of $57.2 million, or $2.21 per diluted share, which included $59.8 million of tax benefits related to the favourable completion of an IRS examination of our 2015 income tax return. Results for the first half compared with a loss from continuing operations, nett of taxes, of $11.5 million, or $0.45 per diluted share, for the six months ended June 30, 2018 that was primarily due to an unrealized loss on financial instruments of $57.8 million.

On an adjusted basis, EBITDA totalled $204.0 million in the first half of 2019 compared with $219.3 million in the first half of 2018. First-half 2019 adjusted income from continuing operations, net of taxes, totalled $31.8 million, or $1.16 per diluted share, compared with $73.5 million, or $2.62 per diluted share, in the first half of 2018.

Updating Our 2019 Outlook*

Reflecting our first-half results and our current market expectations for the balance of the year, we expect to fly approximately 330,000 block hours in 2019, with about 75% of the hours in ACMI and the balance in Charter.

We also anticipate revenue of approximately $2.9 billion, adjusted EBITDA of approximately $520 million, and adjusted net income of approximately 80% of our 2018 adjusted net income of $204.3 million.

Aircraft maintenance expense in 2019 is expected to total about $395 million, with depreciation and amortization totalling about $260 million. Core capital expenditures, which exclude aircraft and engine purchases, are projected to total approximately $135 to $145 million, mainly for parts and components for our fleet.

Due to the favourable completion of our IRS tax examination for 2015, we estimate our full-year 2019 adjusted effective income tax rate will be approximately 16%. 

For the third quarter of 2019, we expect to fly approximately 85,000 block hours (about 75% in ACMI), with revenue of more than $700 million and adjusted EBITDA of about $125 million. We also expect that our third-quarter adjusted net income will represent a mid- to upper-teen percentage of our full-year adjusted net income.  

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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