Republic Airways Holdings Announces First Quarter 2009 Results

Dépèche transmise le 4 mai 2009 par Business Wire

Republic Airways Holdings Announces First Quarter 2009 Results

Republic Airways Holdings Announces First Quarter 2009 Results

INDIANAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Republic Airways Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: RJET) today reported operating revenues of $325.3 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2009, a 10.6% decrease, compared to $363.9 million for the same period last year. The Company reported net income of $2.2 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2009, compared to $20.2 million reported in the prior year’s first quarter. The Company also reported earnings per diluted share of $0.06, compared to $0.55 for the same period last year.

The Company’s first quarter 2009 results included a $13.3 million, non-cash goodwill impairment charge, which creates no tax benefit and therefore reduced net income by the full $13.3 million. Excluding the goodwill impairment, net income for the quarter was $15.5 million and earnings per diluted share was $0.45. The primary items of significance affecting the first quarter of 2009 are outlined below.

First Quarter Highlights

Excluding reimbursement for fuel expense, which is a pass-through cost to our partners, regional airline service revenues increased 4.3% for the first quarter of 2009. This increase was primarily as a result of a shift in the mix of flying toward larger regional jets.

Total operating expenses for the first quarter of 2009, including interest expense but excluding fuel charges (which are reimbursable by the Company’s major partners), of $283.9 million, increased approximately 15.0% from $246.9 million for the same quarter of 2008. Operating cost per available seat mile (CASM), including interest expense but excluding fuel and the goodwill impairment charge increased to 8.14¢ for the first quarter of 2009, from 7.62¢ for the same quarter of 2008. Operating expenses in 2009 also include $3.1 million of expenses to accrue for return costs on CRJ-200 aircraft and a $3.0 million charge related to the recapitalization of Mokulele Airlines.

During the quarter the Company took delivery of three new 76-seat E175 regional jets which were placed into fixed-fee service for Delta. The Company entered into fixed rate debt financing arrangements for these aircraft. The Company also removed three 50-seat aircraft from service from its Continental operations during the quarter. Two of the aircraft removed have been subleased offshore and the other aircraft will be returned to the lessor. At March 31, 2009, the Company’s fleet consisted of 221 regional jet aircraft.

Recent Developments

On March 5, 2009, the Company agreed to a firm commitment for $40 million in post-petition debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing to Frontier Airlines Holdings, Inc. (“Frontier”). This new DIP facility, which was funded on April 1, 2009, matures December 1, 2009.

On March 19, 2009 the Company participated in the recapitalization of Mokulele Airlines. Pursuant to the recapitalization, the Company converted $3.0 million of its $8.0 loan and invested $3.0 million of cash in exchange for 50% of Mokulele’s common stock. The recapitalization agreement required Republic to invest an additional $2.5 million which was funded on May 1, 2009.

Also in March 2009, the Company funded an additional $25 million to US Airways pursuant to the Credit Agreement between US Airways and the Company that was entered into in October 2008.

Balance Sheet Information

At March 31, 2009 the Company had $117.9 million in cash and cash equivalents compared to $129.7 million as of December 31, 2008. The Company’s long-term debt decreased to $2.27 billion as of March 31, 2009, compared to $2.28 billion at December 31, 2008. All of the Company’s long-term debt is at fixed interest rates and is secured by the aircraft. The Company has significant long-term lease obligations for aircraft that are classified as operating leases and are not reflected as liabilities on the Company’s consolidated balance sheets. At a 7.0% discount factor, the present value of these lease obligations was approximately $660 million as of March 31, 2009 compared to approximately $685 million reported as of December 31, 2008.

Corporate Information

Republic Airways Holdings, based in Indianapolis, Indiana is an airline holding company that owns Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines and Shuttle America. The airlines offer scheduled passenger service on approximately 1,200 flights daily to 105 cities in 36 states, Canada, Mexico and Jamaica through airline services agreements with seven U.S. airlines. All of the airlines' flights are operated under their airline partner brand, such as AmericanConnection, Continental Express, Delta Connection, United Express, Midwest Connect, Mokulele Airlines and US Airways Express. The airlines currently employ approximately 4,500 aviation professionals and operate 216 regional jets.

The Company will conduct a telephone briefing to discuss its first quarter results tomorrow, May 5th, at 10:00 a.m. EDT. For those wishing to participate please call 866-783-2141 and for international calls please dial 857-350-1600, the password is 61304559. A live Webcast of this briefing will also be available online at www.rjet.com - investor relations.

Additional Information

In addition to historical information, this release contains forward-looking statements. Republic Airways may, from time-to-time, make written or oral forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements encompass Republic Airways’ beliefs, expectations, hopes or intentions regarding future events. Words such as "expects," "intends," "believes," "anticipates," "should," "likely" and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements included in this release are made as of the date hereof and are based on information available to Republic Airways as of such date. Republic Airways assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement. Actual results may vary, and may vary materially, from those anticipated, estimated, projected or expected for a number of reasons, including, among others, the risks discussed in our Form 10-K and our other filings made with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which discussions are incorporated into this release by reference.

(Dollars and Shares in Thousands, Except per Share Amounts)
Financial Highlights Three Months Ended March 31,
2009 2008 Change
Regional airline services $ 321,712 $ 359,545 -10.5 %
Other 3,593     4,338     -17.2 %
Total operating revenues 325,305 363,883 -10.6 %
Wages and benefits 64,590 63,364 1.9 %
Aircraft fuel 32,116 81,777 -60.7 %
Landing fees 16,898 13,830 22.2 %
Aircraft and engine rent 31,603 33,960 -6.9 %
Maintenance and repair 46,581 38,473 21.1 %
Insurance and taxes 6,479 5,800 11.7 %
Depreciation and amortization 35,895 30,893 16.2 %
Goodwill impairment 13,335 - 100.0 %
Other 33,041     29,973     10.2 %
Total operating expenses 280,538     298,070     -5.9 %
OPERATING INCOME 44,767 65,813 -32.0 %
Interest expense (35,434 ) (30,635 ) 15.7 %
Other — net 2,745     (2,735 )   NM  
Total non-operating income (expense) (32,689 ) (33,370 ) -2.0 %
INCOME BEFORE INCOME TAXES 12,078     32,443     -62.8 %
INCOME TAX EXPENSE 9,918 12,292 -19.3 %
NET INCOME 2,160     20,151     -89.3 %
PER SHARE, BASIC $ 0.06 $ 0.56 -89.3 %
PER SHARE, DILUTED $ 0.06 $ 0.55 -89.1 %
Weighted Average Common Shares
Basic 34,483 36,238 -4.8 %
Diluted 34,483 36,561 -5.7 %
Unaudited Operating Highlights    
Operating Highlights Three Months Ended March 31,
2009 2008 Change
Regional airline services revenues, excluding fuel (000) 289,596 277,768 4.3 %
Operating expenses, plus interest and excluding fuel (000) 283,856 246,928 15.0 %
Passengers carried 4,433,809 4,441,737 -0.2 %
Revenue passenger miles (000) 2,257,102 2,296,711 -1.7 %
Available seat miles (000) 3,324,371 3,240,323 2.6 %
Passenger load factor 67.9 % 70.9 % -3.0 pts
Cost per available seat mile, including interest expense (cents) 9.50 10.14 -6.3 %
Cost per available seat mile, including interest expense, but excluding fuel expense and goodwill impairment charge (cents) 8.14 7.62 6.8 %
Operating aircraft at period end:
37-50 seat regional jets 91 118 -22.9 %
70+ seat regional jets 130 108 20.4 %
Block hours 178,435 188,824 -5.5 %
Departures 104,692 105,005 -0.3 %
Average daily utilization of each aircraft (hours) 9.7 10.2 -4.9 %
Average aircraft stage length (miles) 487 514 -5.3 %

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