US Airways Group, Inc. (LCC)

Q2 2010 Earnings Call

July 22, 2010 01:30 pm ET


Dan Craven - Director, IR

Doug Parker - Chairman and CEO

Derek Kerr - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Scott Kirby - President


Gary Chase - Barclays Capital

Michael Linenberg - Deutsche Bank

Jamie Baker - JPMorgan

Hunter Keay - Stifel Nicolaus

Bill Greene - Morgan Stanley

Kevin Crissey - UBS

Helane Becker - Dahlman Rose

Glenn Engel - Bank of America

Justine Fisher - Goldman Sachs

Dan McKenzie - Hudson Securities

Bill Mastoris - Gleacher & Company

Dawn Gilbertson - Arizona Republic

Josh Freed - Associated Press

Mary Jane Credeur - Bloomberg News

Doug Cameron - Dow Jones

Ted Reed -



Good day and welcome to the US Airways second quarter 2010 earnings conference call. This call is being recorded at this time for opening remarks and introductions I would like to turn the call over to Mr. Dan Cravens, Director of Investor Relations. Please go ahead, sir.

Dan Cravens

Thank you and hello and thanks for joining us today for our second quarter 2010 earnings conference call. In the room with us today is Doug Parker, our Chairman and CEO; Scott Kirby, President; Robert Isom, our Chief Operating Officer; Derek Kerr, our Chief Financial Officer; Steve Johnson, our EVP of Corporate; and Elise Eberwein, our Head of People and Communications.

As we usually do, we are going to start with Doug. He will provide an overview of our second quarter financial results. Derek will then walk us through the details on the quarter, including our cost and liquidity. Scott will then follow with commentary on revenue environment and our operational performance during the quarter. And then after we hear from those comments, we will open the call for analyst questions and lastly questions from the media.

But before we begin, we must state today’s call does contain forward-looking statements, including statements concerning future revenues and fuel prices. These statements represent our predictions and expectations as to future events, but numerous risk and uncertainties could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Information about some of these risk and uncertainties can be found in our earnings press release issued this morning, our Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30th, and our 2009 Form-10K.

In addition, we will be discussing certain non-GAAP financial measures this morning such as net loss and CASM, excluding unusual items. A reconciliation of those numbers to the GAAP financial measures is included in the earnings release and that can also be found on our website at under the Company Information/Investor Relations section. A webcast of this call is also available on our website and will be archived for one month. The information that we are giving you on the call this morning is as of today’s date and we undertake no obligation to update the information subsequently.

At this point, we’ll turn the call over to Doug and thanks for joining us.

Doug Parker

Thanks Dan. Thank you all for being on. As you all know by now we reported net profit this morning of $279 million. Excluding special charges is brought under $265 million and that compares very nicely to a loss excluding special charges of $95 million in the second quarter of 2009. This is a big deal for us, it’s the first profit excluding charges since the third quarter of 2007 US Airways, as the second highest since our merger in 2005.

And importantly we are not just doing better than we’ve been doing. We are doing better than our peers of a major hub-and-spoke peers that we reported so far. We have the highest pretax margins and the highest EBITDA margins and we expect that will be true to everyone than reporting. And that by the way despite at least some of them including a significant out of period, yes they have refunded normal earnings that we put in special earnings which has about as their corresponding something a little more than that one half point of the margin differentials that you see now as you look at our earnings versus others.

Return on earnings and improvement and our performance is a result of a lot of hard work in the past few years. We have reduced our capacity and focused on flying on airs of competitive strength. We’ve got both our operating and our capital spending in check. We changed our business model to be a more profitable all across pricing model, and we’ve run a fantastic operation. I am extremely pleased that we were recognized by the Department of Transportation last month as being number one in each of on-time performance, baggage handling and fewest customer complaints. That’s quite a feet and is a enormous turnaround from just couple of years ago and I want to apologize and thank all of our 31,000 hardworking team members who made that happen.

So you combine all that with an improving economic environment and you get these kinds of results on profits and industry leading margin. So, it feels very good, we have been sending our team over the past couple of years they are on the right track. We’ve been telling them keep doing what you are doing and we will indeed return to profitability, we just keep doing, what we are doing is down this track. Thankfully they had faith in the argument and we’ve gotten where we are today.

Having said that we are not done, one profitable quarter does not necessarily mean a long-term sustainable business model. We have lot of work ahead of us to make certain we get better the plan that we just got. But there is an enormous step in the right direction and we are extremely pleased. As in the near term outlook we expect to report a profit of over third quarter and the full year 2010.

So, that said I’ll turn it over to Derek, who will give you a lot more detail on the earnings number himself as Scott will talk more about the revenue environment. Derek?

Derek Kerr

Thanks Doug, we just filed our second quarter 10-Q this morning and in that Q as Doug said we reported a net profit of $279 million or $1.41 per diluted share, this compares to a net profit of $58 million or $0.42 per share a year ago. When you exclude the special items, the company’s net profit for the second quarter was $265 million or $1.34 per diluted share versus a net loss a year ago excluding special items of $95 million or $0.77 per share. Today’s result produced in industry leading pretax margin of 8.4% and an EBITDA margin of 18.7% which we believe is the right way to look at operating margin in our business.

During the second quarter the company recognized $10 million of operating net special credits consisting of $17 million refund of Aviation Security Infrastructure Fees paid to the TSA during 2005 to 2009.

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