US Airways Group, Inc. ( LCC)

Q4 2010 Earnings Conference Call

January 26, 2011 12:00 PM ET


Dan Cravens – Director, IR

Doug Parker – Chairman & CEO

Scott Kirby – President

Derek Kerr – CFO

Robert Isom – COO

Steve Johnson – EVP, Corporate

Elise Eberwein – EVP, People & Communications


Hunter Keay – Stifel Nicolaus

Jamie Baker – JP Morgan

Bill Greene – Morgan Stanley

Helane Becker – Dahlman Rose

Gary Chase – Barclays Capital

Michael Linenberg – Deutsche Bank

Kevin Crissey – UBS

Dan McKenzie – Hudson Securities

Glenn Engel – Bank of America/Merrill Lynch

L Randall – Citigroup

Bob Mcadoo – Avondale Partners

Ray Neidl – Maxim Group

Megan Neighbor – Arizona Republic

Catherine Craig – Centre for Aviation

Ted Reed –



Good day and welcome to this US Airways Fourth Quarter 2010 Earnings Conference Call. This call is being recorded. At this time for opening remarks and introductions, I’d like to turn the call over to Mr. Dan Cravens, Director of Investor Relations. Please go ahead, sir.

Dan Cravens

Thanks, Mahishi, and welcome everybody to the US Airways fourth quarter 2010 earnings conference call. In the room with us in Phoenix today are Doug Parker, our Chairman and CEO; Scott Kirby, President; Derek Kerr, our Chief Financial Officer. Also in the room with us for the Q&A session are Robert Isom, our Chief Operating Officer; Steve Johnson, our EVP of Corporate; and Elise Eberwein, our EVP of People and Communications.

Like we typically do, we’re going to start with Doug and he will provide an overview of our fourth quarter financial results. Derek will then walk us through the details on the quarter, including our costs and liquidity. Scott will follow with commentary on the revenue environment and our operational performance, and then after we hear from those comments, we’ll open the call for analyst questions, and lastly questions from the media.

But before we begin we must state that 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 risks and uncertainties could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Information about some of these risks and uncertainties can be found in our earnings press release issued this morning, our Form 10Q for the quarter ended September 30th, 2010, 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 GAAP financial measures is included in the earnings release and that can be found on our website at A webcast of this call is also available on our website and will be archived for approximately one month. The information we’re giving you on the call is as of today’s date and we undertake no obligation to update the information subsequently.

Thanks again for joining us, and at this point will turn the call over to Doug.

Doug Parker

Thanks, Dan. And before I start I want to acknowledge the recent achievement by Dan, who has managed our Investor Relations functions before the letter [ph]. Dan was recently recognized by being named to the All-American Executive Team by Institutional Investor Magazine, that ranking is determined by survey of buy- and sell-side analysts and lets us know the Dan and the team are doing a nice job of communicating with all of you. So, thanks for that feedback and Dan, congratulations.

Dan Cravens


Doug Parker

By now you all have seen the release, we reported a profit of $499 million for the year, if you exclude special charges it’s $447 million that’s an improvement of $946 million versus 2009 and the second highest profit in the company’s history.

For the fourth quarter, the profit is $28 million and our profitable fourth quarter was 2006. So, in looking back on 2010, it was clearly a great year for US Airways and the financial performance as noted is our second best year ever nearly a billion dollar improvement since 2009, when you look at the components of that the revenue performance was strong, passenger revenue is up 13%, other revenue up 17%, cargo revenue up 50% and we did all that while keeping our cost down, if you are going to cost excluding fuel and special charges and profit sharing its actually up less than 1% much lower than our competitors in general.

And then mutual operation a truly amazing job by our team, our best ever on-time performance, our lowest ever mishandled baggage performance. We are consistently amongst the industry leaders in every important reliability and safety metric and for that we are extremely proud. And you do all those things and investors get rewarded, our stock was up 107% for the year, more than any other airline and something that again we are happy to see happen.

This is all of course, thanks to our team of 31,000 hardworking professionals, who used to do fantastic job of taking care of our customers and we want to – as we always do thank them for their great work on behalf of the airline and the customers we serve. We are extremely happy to report that our 2010 expenses include $47 million in profit sharing to be shared by our team and $24 million in operational incentive payouts that were earned throughout the year.

So, it’s clearly nice to return to profitability in 2010 after the difficult years our industry had in 2008 and 2009. The challenge of course is to stand, we know, we are profitable now because of the steps we took to get to the crisis in 2008 and 2009, things like reducing capacity, realigning our fly and to focus on areas where we have a true competitive strength. Introducing new revenue streams, keep our costs in check and a commitment to exceptional operational reliability. We also know that continuing on this path to sustain profitability requires a continued commitment to what got us here. We have that commitment as US Airways and because of it we feel good about 2011 and the years to follow.

With that said, I’ll turn it over to Derek, who will give you a lot more details on the numbers; and then Scott will walk you through the revenue performance. Derek?

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