NOVATO, Calif., Aug. 15, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Willis Lease Finance Corporation (NASDAQ:WLFC), the premier independent jet engine lessor in the commercial finance sector, today reported quarterly pretax income of $5.8 million in the second quarter 2016, up $6.7 million when compared to second quarter 2015 pretax income.  Net income for the second quarter increased by $3.9 million to $3.4 million, or $0.49 per diluted share, from $(0.5 million), or $(0.06) per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2015. Earnings in the second quarter included a $1.9 million non-cash charge associated with the write down of an engine that will be retired at lease expiration.

"The core leasing business continues to perform well, benefitting from strong demand for many of the engine types in our portfolio," said Charles F. Willis, Chairman and CEO.  "Our 90% plus utilization, which is always subject to fluctuation, has also allowed us to more appropriately price our products and services." 

"We continue to focus on driving margin within the business, as we position ourselves for the future," said Brian R. Hole, President.  "With up to $1.0 billion in available credit from our newly amended revolving credit facility, as well as other capital markets alternatives available to the Company, we are actively pursuing opportunities to grow our leasing portfolio and diversify sources of revenue. This includes continuing to transition our subsidiary, Willis Aero, into a full scale end-of-life solutions provider and accelerating efforts to market our new business line providing industry leading technical services to customers around the world."

Second Quarter 2016 Highlights (at or for the periods ended June 30, 2016, compared to June 30, 2015, and December 31, 2015):
  • Total revenue grew 13.3% to $49.6 million in the second quarter of 2016 from $43.8 million in the year ago comparable period.
  • Second quarter lease rent revenue was $29.2 million, up 12.7% from the year ago comparable period.  Lease rent revenue was $57.5 million, up 12.3% for the six months ended June 30, 2016, from the corresponding year ago period.
  • Average utilization in the second quarter of 2016 was 90%, higher than the 84% recorded in the year ago comparable period and up from 87% in the prior quarter.
  • Maintenance reserve revenue increased 48.1% to $15.5 million in 2Q16 compared to $10.5 million in 2Q15.   Maintenance reserve revenue increased 36.7% to $31.3 million in the six months ended June 30, 2016, compared to $22.9 million corresponding year ago period.  
  • Pretax income of $5.8 million is up $6.7 million from the year ago comparable period.
  • Net income of $3.4 million, or $0.49 per diluted share, as compared to $(0.5 million) or $(0.06) per diluted share in the comparable year ago period.
  • The book value of owned and managed engines and aircraft was approximately $1.4 billion at the end of the second quarter. 
  • Tangible book value per share increased 6% to $29.32 at June 30, 2016, compared to $27.72 at December 31, 2015.
  • The Company purchased a total of 742,000 shares of common stock in the quarter under the Company's five-year share repurchase plan.
  • During the second quarter of 2016 the Company expanded its revolving credit facility to up to $1.0 billion, including a $110 million accordion feature, and extended its maturity to 2021.
  • Liquidity available from the revolving credit facility was $316 million at June 30, 2016, up from $151 million at December 31, 2015.

"We delivered significant value to the shareholders this quarter by capturing the discount to book value in our common equity through our share repurchase efforts," said Willis.  "We believe the market has recognized the value of these efforts, as evidenced by our industry-leading, year-to-date share price appreciation."

Balance Sheet

As of June 30, 2016, Willis Lease had 201 commercial aircraft engines, 10 aircraft and 5 aircraft parts packages and other engine-related equipment in its lease portfolio, with a net book value of $1.1 billion.  The Company's funded debt-to-equity ratio was 4.47 to 1 at quarter end compared to 4.14 to 1 at December 31, 2015.

Willis Lease Finance

Willis Lease Finance Corporation leases large and regional spare commercial aircraft engines, auxiliary power units and aircraft to airlines, aircraft engine manufacturers and maintenance, repair and overhaul providers in 120 countries. These leasing activities are integrated with engine and aircraft trading, engine lease pools supported by cutting edge technology, as well as various end-of-life solutions for aircraft, engines and aviation materials provided through its subsidiary, Willis Aeronautical Services, Inc.

Except for historical information, the matters discussed in this press release contain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties.  Do not unduly rely on forward-looking statements, which give only expectations about the future and are not guarantees.  Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update them.  Our actual results may differ materially from the results discussed in forward-looking statements.  Factors that might cause such a difference include, but are not limited to: the effects on the airline industry and the global economy of events such as terrorist activity, changes in oil prices and other disruptions to the world markets; trends in the airline industry and our ability to capitalize on those trends, including growth rates of markets and other economic factors; risks associated with owning and leasing jet engines and aircraft; our ability to successfully negotiate equipment purchases, sales and leases, to collect outstanding amounts due and to control costs and expenses; changes in interest rates and availability of capital, both to us and our customers; our ability to continue to meet the changing customer demands; regulatory changes affecting airline operations, aircraft maintenance, accounting standards and taxes; the market value of engines and other assets in our portfolio; and risks detailed in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and other continuing reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
                                   
Consolidated Statements of Income (Loss)                                  
(In thousands, except per share data, unaudited) Three Months Ended         Six Months Ended              
  June 30,     %     June 30,   %        
    2016         2015       Change     2016       2015     Change        
REVENUE                                  
Lease rent revenue $   29,181       $   25,882         12.7 %   $   57,457     $   51,142       12.3 %        
Maintenance reserve revenue     15,514           10,477         48.1 %       31,333         22,916       36.7 %        
Spare parts and equipment sales     3,673           3,716         (1.2 )%       6,305         5,867       7.5 %        
Gain on sale of leased equipment     258           3,132         (91.8 )%       3,250         3,862       (15.8 )%        
Other revenue     992           603         64.5 %       1,992         1,359       46.6 %        
Total revenue     49,618           43,810         13.3 %       100,337         85,146       17.8 %        
                                   
EXPENSES                                  
Depreciation and amortization expense     16,188           17,626         (8.2 )%       32,607         35,288       (7.6 )%        
Cost of spare parts and equipment sales     2,787           2,820         (1.2 )%       4,719         4,300       9.7 %        
Write-down of equipment     1,893           3,058         (38.1 )%       3,929         3,082       27.5 %        
General and administrative     10,685           9,112         17.3 %       22,437         19,084       17.6 %        
Technical expense     1,803           2,434         (25.9 )%       3,499         4,266       (18.0 )%        
Net finance costs                                  
Interest expense     10,397           9,860         5.4 %       20,405         19,427       5.0 %        
Loss (gain) on extinguishment of debt     137           -          0.0 %       137         (1,151 )   n/a          
Total net finance costs     10,534           9,860         6.8 %       20,542         18,276       12.4 %        
Total expenses     43,890           44,910         (2.3 )%       87,733         84,296       4.1 %        
                                   
Earnings (loss) from operations     5,728           (1,100 )     n/a         12,604         850     n/a          
                                   
Earnings from joint ventures     56           215         (74.0 )%       243         569       (57.3 )%        
                                   
Income (loss) before income taxes      5,784           (885 )     n/a         12,847         1,419     n/a          
Income tax expense (benefit)     2,418           (399 )     n/a         5,470         547     n/a          
Net income (loss) $   3,366       $   (486 )     n/a     $   7,377     $   872     n/a          
                                   
Basic earnings per common share $   0.50       $   (0.06 )         $   1.07     $   0.11              
                                   
Diluted earnings per common share $   0.49       $   (0.06 )         $   1.05     $   0.11              
                                   
Average common shares outstanding     6,685           7,841               6,917         7,845              
Diluted average common shares outstanding      6,819           7,841               7,047         8,022              

 
Consolidated Balance Sheets              
(In thousands, except share data, unaudited)              
  June 30, 2016     December 31, 2015      
ASSETS              
Cash and cash equivalents $   21,054       $   9,732        
Restricted cash     38,816           33,026        
Equipment held for operating lease, less accumulated depreciation     1,081,481           1,109,168        
Maintenance rights     16,774           12,140        
Equipment held for sale     29,727           23,454        
Operating lease related receivable, net of allowances      14,270           13,626        
Spare parts inventory     19,027           20,826        
Investments     44,295           41,295        
Property, equipment & furnishings, less accumulated depreciation     16,714           20,247        
Intangibles assets, net     816           932        
Other assets     9,423           9,839        
Total assets $   1,292,397       $   1,294,285        
               
LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY              
Liabilities:              
Accounts payable and accrued expenses $   19,203       $   21,665        
Deferred income taxes     101,326           96,154        
Notes payable     876,706           866,089        
Maintenance reserves     69,273           71,054        
Security deposits     24,905           25,010        
Unearned lease revenue     4,834           5,090        
Total liabilities     1,096,247           1,085,062        
               
Shareholders' equity:              
Common stock ($0.01 par value) $   67       $   75        
Paid-in capital in excess of par     7,933           28,720        
Retained earnings     188,326           180,949        
Accumulated other comprehensive loss, net of tax     (176 )         (521 )      
Total shareholders' equity     196,150           209,223        
               
Total liabilities and shareholders' equity $   1,292,397       $   1,294,285        

CONTACT:Scott B. FlahertyChief Financial Officer(415) 408-4700The Cereghino GroupIR CONTACT: 206-388-5785

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