Three More Airlines Top Estimates - TheStreet

In keeping with the second-quarter trend,

Atlantic Coast Airlines

( ACAI),


(SKYW) - Get Report


Mesa Airlines

(MESA) - Get Report

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.