During weeks like this, I’m not really sure if I should even get out of bed in the morning.
Considering we are enjoying a nice gentle Fall rain here in the DFW Metroplex this morning, that’s even more incentive not to get up.
Alas — duty calls.
Two days, and we have now had six airlines have report earnings so far this week — with more to come. The rundown goes like this: Continental, UAL, parent of United Airlines, AirTran, Allegiant, Hawaiian, and AMR, parent of American Airlines.
Any surprises in the results that have rolled out so far this week?
No real “surprises” but a few things that do warrant some discussion.
One — United Airlines posted pretty good numbers for the quarter. Excluding special items, the airline posted a loss of $0.43 a share. This was much better than the consensus forecast of loss of $0.94. The airline posted better than expected results both on the revenue and the cost side. The airline posted a 2.8% operating margin. Granted, that kind of margin would make people in other industries weep. But in this industry, it might end up being one of the better performances for the quarter — compared to its peers.
AirTran? No real surprises here. The airline posted a good quarter. Forecast was for the airline to post a profit of 8 cents a share. That’s what the airline did. It also posted a very nice 5.1% operating margin — 13.5 points better than third quarter 2008.
Dovetailing with the upgrade note on AirTran issued by JP Morgan analysts Jamie Baker and Mark Streeter late Sunday, the airline did, in fact, post a better operating margin than Southwest this quarter. Southwest posted a 4.8 operating margin (excluding special items.)
Allegiant? Another great quarter by the airline. The airline reported a profit of $0.68, which was better than the Street estimate of $0.63. The best news from the airline’s call to me was the fact that the airline’s new service in Los Angeles seems to be off to a tremendous start. The airline said that July operating margins for the new service, which just started in May, were already pretty much up to the airline’s system average. This compares to other markets, which have usually taken as long as two years to hit the same levels.
Continental reported this morning, as did AMR.
Continental reported a net loss of $18 million or $0.14. Excluding $20 million in special charges, the airline posted a profit of 2 cents a share.
Analysts had expected the airline to post a loss of 6 cents a share.
As for AMR, parent of American Airlines — the news wasn’t nearly as positive. The airline didn’t come anywhere near a profit for the third quarter.
The airline posted a net loss this morning of $359 million or $1.26. Excluding special items, the airline posted a loss of $265 million or $0.93. Consensus had the airline expected to post a loss of $0.95. Operating margin? Excluding special items, a negative 2.5%.
We’re off to listen to the calls from both CAL and AMR. Behave yourself while I’m gone.