Willis Lease Finance Reports Third Quarter Pretax Profit Of $6.5 Million

NOVATO, Calif., Nov. 04, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Willis Lease Finance Corporation (NASDAQ:WLFC), the leader in independent financing, trading and servicing for both engines and aircraft, today reported quarterly pretax income of $6.5 million in the third quarter of 2016, up $1.9 million, or 40%, when compared to third quarter 2015 pretax income. Net income for the third quarter increased by $1.4 million, or 56%, to $4.0 million, or $0.62 per diluted share, from $2.6 million, or $0.32 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2015. Earnings in the third quarter of 2016 included a $2.0 million non-cash charge associated with the write-down of equipment.

"Our core leasing business continued to drive top line growth and bottom line profitability, achieving 92% utilization at quarter end," said Charles F. Willis, Chairman and CEO. "At the moment, we continue to see strong leasing demand across all engine types, and we are actively growing the portfolio to meet that demand."

"We had a very active third quarter, as we continue to position ourselves for the future," said Brian R. Hole, President. "The leasing business is obviously strong, and we added nearly $43 million of income producing assets in the quarter and sold over $4 million of spare parts and equipment. Just after quarter end, we closed a $20 million preferred equity offering and then purchased the assets of Total Engine Support Limited (TES), both of which reinforce our growth strategy across our leasing, trading and asset management and technical services businesses," explained Mr. Hole.

Third Quarter 2016 Highlights (at or for the periods ended September 30, 2016, compared to September 30, 2015, and December 31, 2015):
  • Lease rent revenue grew 11.5% to $31.3 million in the third quarter of 2016 from $28.1 million in the year ago comparable period. Total lease rent revenue for the nine months ended September 30, 2016, was $88.7 million, up 12.0%, from the corresponding year ago period.
  • Average utilization in the third quarter of 2016 was 91%, up from 90% in the second quarter of 2016.
  • Pretax income of $6.5 million is up $1.9 million or 40% from the year ago comparable period.
  • Third quarter net income was $4.0 million, or $0.62 per diluted share, as compared to $2.6 million or $0.32 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 third quarter. 
  • Tangible book value per share increased 8% to $29.88 at September 30, 2016, compared to $27.72 at December 31, 2015.
  • The Company purchased a total of 116,000 shares of common stock in the quarter under the Company's five-year share repurchase plan.
  • Liquidity available from the revolving credit facility was $303 million at September 30, 2016, up from $151 million at December 31, 2015.
  • During the quarter, the Company purchased one aircraft and nine engines for a total purchase price of $42.8 million.
  • The Company issued 1,000,000 shares of 6.5% Series A Preferred Stock, $0.01 par value per share at a purchase price of $20.00 per share in October 2016.
  • On October 26, 2016, the Company purchased, through its wholly owned subsidiary Willis Asset Management Limited, the assets of Total Engine Support Limited a UK-based, leading asset management, technical services and consultancy business.

Balance Sheet

As of September 30, 2016, Willis Lease had 208 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 4.51 to 1 at quarter end compared to 4.14 to 1 at December 31, 2015.

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