In keeping with the second-quarter trend,
Atlantic Coast Airlines
all announced earnings that topped Wall Street expectations. But only Atlantic Coast and Mesa moved higher on Wednesday, as SkyWest reported earnings that were down from year-ago levels.
Mesa Airlines, which covers markets in the Southwest and is based out of Phoenix, announced third-quarter earnings of $8.2 million, or 26 cents a share, excluding government assistance and other charges. This easily beat the 20 cents a share expected by Wall Street, and shares were up 69 cents, or 6.9%, at $10.71.
Revenue was strong, coming in at $154.1 million, up 15.2% from the year-ago $133.8 million, but company operations didn't generate as much money in the third quarter. Although Mesa boosted capacity by 29% year over year and traffic was up more than 36%, revenue per available seat mile fell 5%, while yields declined by nearly 16%.
Like Mesa, Atlantic Coast also topped Wall Street expectations, announcing second-quarter earnings of $17.2 million, or 38 cents a share, excluding all charges and government aid. That topped the 15 cents a share expected by analysts and beat the year-ago $14.1 million, or 30 cents a share. Shares in the company were up 18 cents, or 2.6%, at $7.20.
Total operating revenue at Atlantic Coast came in at $227.1 million, up 20.7% from the year-ago $188.2 million. The revenue boost was driven in part by a 6.6% increase to capacity, but it was also driven by increased demand, with traffic up 22.2% over last year's quarter. As a result, Atlantic Coast's load factor, or the percentage of seats filled on each flight, jumped to 75.3% from the year-ago 67.6%.
But unlike the other two carriers that released earnings on Wednesday, SkyWest announced second-quarter earnings that declined, even though the carrier still beat estimates. The company announced earnings of $14.9 million, or 26 cents a share, excluding charges and aid, off from the year-ago $21.9 million, or 29 cents a share. Analysts expected the carrier to earn 24 cents a share.
Operating revenue at SkyWest came in at $212.7 million, up 12.4% from year-ago levels, but the company said revenues were up mainly because capacity was up nearly 32% from last year. But with yield per passenger down 17.8% from last year's quarter, flying more often didn't pay off as much for the carrier.
Shares in SkyWest were down 8 cents, or 0.4%, at $18.06.