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$SKYW said it will buy 8 new, dual-class Embraer E175 jets to fly for $ALK's Alaska Airlines. The new planes, to be delivered in 2016, will replace 8 older regional jets $SKYW currently flies for the seattle-based carrier. This comes after $SKYW takes ownership of first of 7 E175s purchased last fall to be flown for Alaska.
$LUV stated that any opportunities on the capital side would be more along the lines of fleet, in terms of opportunities to continue to renew the fleet. The order book is currently at a very manageable level. The company believes there are opportunities to modernize and invest in the business.
$LUV's unit revenues were up 1.9% in 4Q17 and just under 1% for full year 2017. The company is estimating 1-2% unit revenue growth on strong load factors and bookings for 1Q18 and the goal is to achieve positive unit revenue comparisons again for 2018.
$LUV reported net income of $1.9Bil or $3.18 per share in 4Q17 compared to $522MM or $0.84 per share in 4Q16. 4Q17 net income was positively impacted by a $1.4Bil tax benefit due to tax reform legislation. Total operating revenues grew 3.9% to $5.3Bil, driven largely by passenger revenues of $4.7Bil.
Freight hauling railroad $UNP reported more than 100% surge in 4Q17 net income, driven by the impact of Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Net income was $7.2Bil or $9.25 per share compared to a net income of $1.14Bil or $1.39 per share a year earlier. Revenue rose 5% to $5.45Bil. On an adjusted basis, $UNP earned $1.53 per share, up 10% YoY.
United reported 46% jump in profits to $580MM ($1.99/share) due to strong travel demand in 4Q. Passenger revenue per seat flown in a mile (PRASM) rose modestly to 0.2%, but fuel costs were up 20% vs. 4Q16. For 2018, $UAL expects to increase capacity by 4-6% and to spend between $3.6-3.8Bil. The airline projects 2018 EPS to be between $6.50-8.50.
$FDX said the FedEx Supply Chain results, currently reported in the FedEx Ground segment, and FedEx Custom Critical results, currently reported in the FedEx Freight segment, will be reported with FedEx Trade Networks in the FedEx Express segment effective March 1, 2018.
$FDX said the elements of its new FTN organization are FedEx Custom Critical, FedEx Cross Border, FedEx Supply Chain, FedEx Trade Networks Transport & Brokerage and a new company called FedEx Forward Depots with responsibility for Critical Inventory and Service Parts Logistics, 3-D Printing, Repair Center and the FedEx Packaging Lab.
Fuel expense for $DAL rose by nearly $350MM in 4Q17, as rising jet fuel prices continues to be a concern for the airline industry. With the current market jet fuel prices being 30% higher than last year, the company said it will take time for it to recalibrate and recover those costs through its revenues.
Airline company $ALGT said its passenger traffic increased 11% annually to 978MM in December 2017. Available seat miles, a measure of carrying capacity, rose 9% to about 1.2Bil during the month. Overall load factor for the month was 82%, up 1.4 points compared to December 2016. In 4Q17, traffic and capacity grew 13% and 11%, respectively.
$JBLU expects 4Q17 revenue per available seat mile to increase about 1.8% year-over-year and fuel cost per gallon of $1.89-1.92. CASM ex-fuel growth is expected to include about $23MM of additional expenses associated with the $1,000 bonus for each Crewmember, which will raise its previously provided guidance by 2.0 percentage points.
$JBLU reported that preliminary traffic for the month of December 2017 increased 2.7% from last year, on capacity growth of 4.4%. Load factor was 82.7%, down 1.4 points from a year ago. The company's preliminary completion factor was 99.8% and its on-time performance was 74.1%.
$DAL, the second largest airline behind $AAL, raised its forecast of 2018 earnings between $6.35 and $6.70 per share, citing benefits from the recent tax law that includes a lower corporate rate. The airline also expects earnings for 1Q18 to range $0.60-0.80 per share, with a 3% system capacity growth.