Good evening everyone. This week’s issue of PlaneBusiness Banter is now posted.
Last week the bulk of the major U.S. airlines we follow reported 2Q14 earnings. We will have a few stragglers come in this week and next, but in terms of the big boys, all of them rolled out the numbers. In this week’s issue we’ll take a long look at the results reported by American, Delta, and United Airlines.
Which one of these three was the biggest surprise? United Airlines. In terms of the airline’s earnings call, I thought it was the best since the merger. In addition, as we told PlaneBusiness Banter subscribers more than a month ago, we continue to hear nothing but good things about Greg Hart, the COO at United. This quarter did nothing to change that opinion, and we were glad to hear him on the airline’s earnings call.
As for Delta Air Lines, the airline produced yet another strong quarter, showing once again why it indeed at the top of the heap. Excellent job by the guys in Atlanta.
American Airlines also rolled out a very strong quarter — particularly so considering the airline is in the middle of a huge merger integration. If you are wondering why shares of AAL took a bit of a dip last week, it is because it’s RASM guidance was not as strong as some analysts had forecast. The big culprit here — the airline’s situation with Venezuela. Not only does Venezuela owe the airline hundreds of millions of dollars, but the airline will not see revenues impacted going forward as a result of its substantial reduction in service to Venezuela.
Long-term? The airline continues to look good. The airline also surprised investors with news of a stock buy back and a dividend payment. (United also announced a stock buy-back program.)
All this, and much, much, more in this week’s mega-earnings issue of PlaneBusiness Banter!