Thursday, 31 October 2019

Cargo giant Atlas Air Worldwide reports its third-quarter results


Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. has reported third-quarter 2019 income from continuing operations, nett of taxes, of $60.0 million, or $2.32 per diluted share, compared with reported income of $71.1 million, or $0.84 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2018.

Reported results in the third quarter of 2019 included an unrealized gain on outstanding warrants of $83.2 million, partially offset by a special charge, net, of $18.9 million, compared with an unrealized gain on outstanding warrants of $46.1 million in the year-ago period.

On an adjusted basis, EBITDA totalled $95.6 million in the third quarter this year compared with $123.9 million in the third quarter of 2018. Adjusted income from continuing operations, net of taxes, in the third quarter of 2019 totalled $9.5 million, or $0.37 per diluted share, compared with $43.8 million, or $1.54 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter.


“Our third-quarter performance was affected by the uncertain global macroenvironment, driven by ongoing tariff and trade tensions,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer William J. Flynn. “In addition to lower yields and volumes than we anticipated, labour-related service disruptions had a significant impact on our performance during the third quarter.

“Looking to the full year, we expect revenue of about $2.75 billion, adjusted EBITDA of approximately $500 million, and adjusted net income of approximately 60-65% of our 2018 adjusted net income.*




“We expect to benefit from peak-season volumes and yields, including the seasonal flying we do for express and e-commerce customers. In addition, our outlook anticipates increased passenger flying for the military and lower maintenance expense compared with the fourth quarter of 2018, as well as from a refund of aircraft rent paid in previous years.”

Mr Flynn continued: “We have recently received favourable arbitration rulings that confirm the contractual process to negotiate a new agreement for our pilots. We value the contributions of our pilots, and we look forward to reaching a competitive contract that recognizes their efforts supporting our customers and our company.”

He concluded: “Airfreight is a long-term growth industry. Despite current macroeconomic issues, the global middle class continues to expand and supply chains continue to grow and develop to meet demand. And as consumption increases and supply chains evolve, airfreight is vital in transporting the goods and materials required by consumers safely, reliably, and efficiently. With the scale and scope of our operations, and our strategic focus on express, e-commerce and faster-growing markets, we are positioned well to serve the demand for airfreight today and in the future.”

President and Chief Operating Officer, John W. Dietrich added: “We have the right platform to serve our customers and future airfreight demand. We have a strong core of long-term customers, and we play a key role in their operating networks.

“We are also taking steps to navigate through the current headwinds. We continually assess the market to best balance our capacity with the demand for our aircraft and services. We are adjusting our business to adapt to the changing market environment with a focus on reducing costs, enhancing productivity, improving profitability, and generating cash.

“Not only will these actions benefit Atlas in the near term, they will also contribute to the long-term success of the company.”



Third-Quarter Results

Revenue in the third quarter of 2019 was relatively in line with the third quarter of 2018. Higher volumes during the period reflected increases in ACMI and Charter flying.

ACMI segment revenue increased slightly during the period reflecting higher levels of flying, partially offset by a decrease in the average rate per block hour due to the growth of smaller-gauge 767 and 737 CMI flying. Block-hour growth was primarily driven by incremental CMI flying, partially offset by a decrease in ACMI flying due to the impact of tariffs and global trade tensions. In addition, ACMI segment revenue was impacted by the two-month redeployment of two 747-8F aircraft to the Charter segment prior to their subsequent placement with an ACMI customer that needed to obtain a required regulatory approval, as well as labour-related service disruptions.

ACMI segment contribution decreased during the quarter as increased levels of flying were more than offset by the impact of tariffs and global trade tensions on customer demand; labour-related service disruptions; additional heavy maintenance expense; increased amortization of deferred maintenance costs; and the two-month redeployment of two 747-8F aircraft to the Charter segment. In addition, segment contribution was impacted by start-up costs for customer-growth initiatives and higher crew costs, including enhanced wages and work rules resulting from our interim agreement with pilots at Southern Air.

Charter segment revenue increased during the period reflecting higher levels of flying, partially offset by a decrease in the average rate per block hour due to the impact of tariffs and global trade tensions on commercial cargo yields (excluding fuel). Block-hour volume growth primarily reflected increased passenger demand from the military and the two-month redeployment of two 747-8F aircraft from the ACMI segment. These drivers were partially offset by lower cargo demand from commercial customers as well as labour-related service disruptions.

Lower Charter segment contribution was primarily driven by a decrease in commercial cargo yields related to the impact of tariffs and global trade tensions and labour-related service disruptions. These items were partially offset by earnings from the two-month deployment of two 747-8F aircraft from the ACMI segment; an increase in military passenger flying; and lower heavy maintenance expense.

In Dry Leasing, lower segment revenue and contribution during the quarter primarily reflected the scheduled return of a 777-200 freighter, partially offset by the placement of additional aircraft.

In the third quarter of 2019, we incurred a special charge primarily due to an impairment loss for four aircraft engines to be disposed of and the permanent parking of two 737-400 passenger aircraft used for training purposes.

Higher unallocated income and expenses, net, during the quarter primarily reflected fleet growth initiatives and increased amortization of a customer incentive asset, partially offset by a ratification bonus in 2018 related to the interim agreement with the Southern Air pilots.

Reported earnings in the third quarter of 2019 also included an effective income tax benefit rate of 16.0%, due mainly to nontaxable changes in the value of outstanding warrants. On an adjusted basis, our results reflected an effective income tax expense rate of 5.7%.

Nine-Month Results

Reported income from continuing operations, net of taxes, for the nine months ended September 30, 2019, totaled $117.1 million, or $1.34 per diluted share, which included an unrealized gain on financial instruments of $78.9 million as well as $59.8 million of tax benefits related to the favorable completion of an IRS examination of our 2015 income tax return. Results for the first nine months compared with income from continuing operations of $59.6 million, or $2.27 per diluted share, which included an unrealized loss on financial instruments of $11.7 million, for the nine months ended September 30, 2018.

On an adjusted basis, EBITDA totalled $300.1 million in the first nine months of 2019 compared with $354.9 million in the first nine months of 2018. For the nine months ended September 30, 2019, adjusted income from continuing operations, nett of taxes, totalled $41.4 million, or $1.54 per diluted share, compared with $117.3 million, or $4.17 per diluted share, in first nine months of 2018.

Cash and Short-Term Investments

At September 30, 2019, our cash and cash equivalents, short-term investments and restricted cash totalled $82.8 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 nine months of 2019 primarily related to capital expenditures and payments for flight equipment and modifications, including the acquisition of 747-400 passenger aircraft, 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.


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