ALK
$67.41
Alaska Air Group
($.28)
(.41%)
Earnings Details
3rd Quarter September 2019
Thursday, October 24, 2019 4:01:00 PM
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Summary

Alaska Air Group Beats

Alaska Air Group (ALK) reported 3rd Quarter September 2019 earnings of $2.63 per share on revenue of $2.4 billion. The consensus earnings estimate was $2.62 per share on revenue of $2.4 billion. The Earnings Whisper number was $2.56 per share. Revenue grew 8.0% on a year-over-year basis.

Alaska Air Group Inc through its subsidiaries, provides passenger air, freight and mail services within the state of Alaska and on the West Coast.

Results
Reported Earnings
$2.63
Earnings Whisper
$2.56
Consensus Estimate
$2.62
Reported Revenue
$2.39 Bil
Revenue Estimate
$2.38 Bil
Growth
Earnings Growth
Revenue Growth
Power Rating
Grade
Earnings Release

Alaska Air Group reports third quarter 2019 results

SEATTLE, Oct. 24, 2019 /PRNewswire/ --

Financial Highlights:

  • Reported net income for the third quarter of 2019 under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) of $322 million, or $2.60 per diluted share, compared to net income of $217 million, or $1.75 per diluted share in the third quarter of 2018.
  • Reported net income for the third quarter of 2019, excluding merger-related costs and mark-to-market fuel hedge accounting adjustments, of $326 million, or $2.63 per diluted share, compared to $237 million or $1.91 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2018. This quarter's adjusted results compare to the First Call analyst consensus estimate of $2.52 per share.
  • Paid a $0.35 per-share cash dividend in the third quarter, a 9% increase over the dividend paid in the third quarter of 2018.
  • Repurchased a total of 874,019 shares of common stock for approximately $53 million in the first nine months of 2019.
  • Generated $1.4 billion of operating cash flow in the first nine months of 2019.
  • Made a voluntary contribution of $65 million to defined benefit pension plans in the third quarter.
  • Held $1.6 billion in unrestricted cash and marketable securities as of Sept. 30, 2019.
  • Reduced debt-to-capitalization ratio to 42% as of Sept. 30, 2019 compared to 47% as of Dec. 31, 2018.

Operational Highlights:

  • Alaska's clerical, office, passenger service, ramp and stores employees, represented by the International Association of Machinists, ratified a new five-year agreement in August.
  • Opened a new 15,000+ square foot flagship lounge in the North Satellite at Sea-Tac International Airport in July.
  • Reallocated flying to expand offerings between the Pacific Northwest and California, increasing network utility and providing more non-stop service on the West Coast.
  • Completed cabin interior renovations of the 25th Airbus aircraft during the third quarter.
  • Installed high-speed satellite Wi-Fi on the 54th mainline aircraft.

Recognition and Awards:

  • Named "Best U.S. Airline" by Condé Nast Traveler for the second consecutive year.
  • Ranked as top U.S. airline in Newsweek's 2020 Best Customer Service awards.
  • Mileage Plan ranked first in the U.S. News & World Report's list of Best Airline Rewards Programs for the fifth consecutive year.
  • Ranked as the top U.S. airline in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the third consecutive year.
  • Ranked among Forbes' 2019 global list for "World's Best Employers."

Alaska Air Group Inc. today reported third quarter 2019 GAAP net income of $322 million, or $2.60 per diluted share, compared to $217 million, or $1.75 per diluted share in the third quarter of 2018. Excluding the impact of merger-related costs and mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments, the company reported adjusted net income of $326 million, or $2.63 per diluted share, compared to $237 million, or $1.91 per diluted share in 2018.

"Our teams at Alaska, Horizon and McGee delivered industry-leading customer service and operational reliability that helped drive strong third quarter results," said Alaska Air Group CEO Brad Tilden. "Our adjusted pretax profit margin of nearly 18% was 3.6 percentage points higher than last year - fueled by our commitment to keep costs low and by the impressive 8% revenue growth that our commercial team delivered. I want to thank our employees for everything they're doing to make Alaska what we are today - and for helping us shape what we're going to be in the future. They are the best in the industry, and I believe these results demonstrate that."

The following table reconciles the company's reported GAAP net income and earnings per diluted share (diluted EPS) for the three and nine months ended Sept. 30, 2019 and 2018 to adjusted amounts.


Three Months Ended September 30,


2019


2018

(in millions, except per-share amounts)

Dollars


Diluted EPS


Dollars


Diluted EPS

GAAP net income and diluted EPS

$

322



$

2.60



$

217



$

1.75


Mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments





5



0.04


Special items - merger-related costs

5



0.04



22



0.18


Income tax effect of reconciling items above

(1)



(0.01)



(7)



(0.06)


Non-GAAP adjusted net income and diluted EPS

$

326



$

2.63



$

237



$

1.91





Nine Months Ended September 30,


2019


2018

(in millions, except per-share amounts)

Dollars


Diluted EPS


Dollars


Diluted EPS

GAAP net income and diluted EPS

$

588



$

4.74



$

414



$

3.34


Mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments

(1)



(0.01)



(30)



(0.24)


Special items - merger-related costs

39



0.31



67



0.54


Special items - other





25



0.20


Income tax effect of reconciling items above

(9)



(0.07)



(15)



(0.12)


Non-GAAP adjusted net income and diluted EPS

$

617



$

4.97



$

461



$

3.72


Statistical data, as well as a reconciliation of the reported non-GAAP financial measures, can be found in the accompanying tables. A glossary of financial terms can be found on the last page of this release.

A conference call regarding the third quarter results will be streamed online at 1:30 p.m. Pacific time on Oct. 24, 2019. It can be accessed at www.alaskaair.com/investors. For those unable to listen to the live broadcast, a replay will be available after the conclusion of the call.

References in this news release to "Air Group," "company," "we," "us" and "our" refer to Alaska Air Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries, unless otherwise specified. Alaska Airlines, Inc., Horizon Air Industries, Inc., and Virgin America Inc. (through July 20, 2018, at which point it was legally merged into Alaska Airlines, Inc.) are referred to as "Alaska," "Horizon," and "Virgin America" respectively, and together as our "airlines."

This news release may contain forward-looking statements subject to the safe harbor protection provided by Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements relate to future events and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause actual outcomes to be materially different from those indicated by any forward-looking statements. For a comprehensive discussion of potential risk factors, see Item 1A of the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2018, as well as in other documents filed by the Company with the SEC after the date thereof. Some of these risks include general economic conditions, increases in operating costs including fuel, competition, labor costs and relations, our indebtedness, inability to meet cost reduction goals, seasonal fluctuations in our financial results, an aircraft accident, changes in laws and regulations and risks inherent in the achievement of anticipated synergies and the timing thereof in connection with the acquisition of Virgin America. All of the forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by reference to the risk factors discussed therein. We operate in a continually changing business environment, and new risk factors emerge from time to time. Management cannot predict such new risk factors, nor can it assess the impact, if any, of such new risk factors on our business or events described in any forward-looking statements. We expressly disclaim any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements after the date of this report to conform them to actual results. Over time, our actual results, performance or achievements will likely differ from the anticipated results, performance, or achievements that are expressed or implied by our forward-looking statements, and such differences might be significant and materially adverse.

Alaska Airlines and its regional partners fly 46 million guests a year to more than 115 destinations with an average of 1,300 daily flights across the United States and to Mexico, Canada and Costa Rica. With Alaska and Alaska Global Partners, guests can earn and redeem miles on flights to more than 800 destinations worldwide. Alaska ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Carriers in North America" in the J.D. Power North America Airline Satisfaction Study for 12 consecutive years from 2008 to 2019. Learn about Alaska's award-winning service at newsroom.alaskaair.com and blog.alaskaair.com. Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air are subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK)

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS (unaudited)







Alaska Air Group, Inc.

























Three Months Ended September 30,


Nine Months Ended September 30,

(in millions, except per-share amounts)

2019


2018


Change


2019


2018


Change

Operating Revenues:












Passenger revenue

$

2,211



$

2,043



8

%


$

6,038



$

5,724



5

%

Mileage Plan other revenue

118



114



4

%


346



329



5

%

Cargo and other

60



55



9

%


169



147



15

%

Total Operating Revenues

2,389



2,212



8

%


6,553



6,200



6

%

Operating Expenses:












Wages and benefits

608



549



11

%


1,732



1,629



6

%

Variable incentive pay

46



27



70

%


125



104



20

%

Aircraft fuel, including hedging gains and losses

486



513



(5)

%


1,408



1,397



1

%

Aircraft maintenance

106



107



(1)

%


341



320



7

%

Aircraft rent

82



82



%


247



233



6

%

Landing fees and other rentals

143



135



6

%


388



371



5

%

Contracted services

72



70



3

%


214



227



(6)

%

Selling expenses

77



79



(3)

%


236



245



(4)

%

Depreciation and amortization

106



99



7

%


317



290



9

%

Food and beverage service

57



53



8

%


159



158



1

%

Third-party regional carrier expense

42



38



11

%


125



114



10

%

Other

137



141



(3)

%


411



423



(3)

%

Special items - merger-related costs

5



22



(77)

%


39



67



(42)

%

Special items - other





%




25



NM

Total Operating Expenses

1,967



1,915



3

%


5,742



5,603



2

%

Operating Income

422



297



42

%


811



597



36

%

Nonoperating Income (Expense):












Interest income

11



11



%


31



29



7

%

Interest expense

(18)



(22)



(18)

%


(60)



(71)



(15)

%

Interest capitalized

4



5



(20)

%


11



14



(21)

%

Other—net

(3)



(7)



(57)

%


(20)



(20)



%

Total Nonoperating Income (Expense)

(6)



(13)



(54)

%


(38)



(48)



(21)

%

Income Before Income Tax

416



284





773



549




Income tax expense

94



67





185



135




Net Income

$

322



$

217





$

588



$

414
















Basic Earnings Per Share:

$

2.61



$

1.76





$

4.76



$

3.36




Diluted Earnings Per Share:

$

2.60



$

1.75





$

4.74



$

3.34
















Shares Used for Computation:












Basic

123.280



123.224





123.330



123.216




Diluted

124.067



123.864





124.051



123.804
















Cash dividend declared per share:

$

0.35



$

0.32





$

1.05



$

0.96




 

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS (unaudited)




Alaska Air Group, Inc.








(in millions)

September 30, 2019


December 31, 2018

Cash and marketable securities

$

1,619



$

1,236


Other current assets

583



551


Current assets

2,202



1,787


Property and equipment - net

6,834



6,781


Operating lease assets

1,647




Goodwill

1,943



1,943


Intangible assets - net

123



127


Other assets

234



274


Total assets

12,983



10,912






Air traffic liability

1,032



788


Current portion of long-term debt

265



486


Current portion of operating lease liabilities

268




Other current liabilities

1,781



1,668


Current liabilities

3,346



2,942


Long-term debt

1,444



1,617


Long-term operating lease liabilities

1,376




Other liabilities and credits

2,565



2,602


Shareholders' equity

4,252



3,751


Total liabilities and shareholders' equity

$

12,983



$

10,912






Debt-to-capitalization ratio, including operating leases(a)

42

%


47

%





Number of common shares outstanding

123.278



123.194




(a) 

Following the adoption of the new lease accounting standard on January 1, 2019, the ratio is calculated using the total capitalized Operating lease liability, whereas prior year periods were calculated utilizing the present value of aircraft lease payments. This change had no impact to the ratio.

 

OPERATING STATISTICS SUMMARY (unaudited)







Alaska Air Group, Inc.

























Three Months Ended September 30,


Nine Months Ended September 30,


2019


2018


Change


2019


2018


Change

Consolidated Operating Statistics:(a)












Revenue passengers (000)

12,574


12,128


3.7%


35,018


34,685


1.0%

RPMs (000,000) "traffic"

15,026


14,386


4.4%


42,113


41,272


2.0%

ASMs (000,000) "capacity"

17,519


16,943


3.4%


50,006


49,256


1.5%

Load factor

85.8%


84.9%


0.9 pts


84.2%


83.8%


0.4 pts

Yield

14.71¢


14.20¢


3.6%


14.34¢


13.87¢


3.4%

RASM

13.64¢


13.05¢


4.5%


13.10¢


12.59¢


4.1%

CASMex(b)

8.43¢


8.15¢


3.4%


8.59¢


8.35¢


2.9%

Economic fuel cost per gallon(b)

$2.13


$2.33


(8.6)%


$2.18


$2.26


(3.5)%

Fuel gallons (000,000)

227


218


4.1%


646


631


2.4%

ASM's per gallon

77.2


77.7


(0.6)%


77.4


78.1


(0.9)%

Average number of full-time equivalent employees (FTE)

22,247


21,804


2.0%


22,000


21,575


2.0%

Mainline Operating Statistics:












Revenue passengers (000)

9,655


9,435


2.3%


26,725


27,107


(1.4)%

RPMs (000,000) "traffic"

13,538


13,096


3.4%


37,917


37,677


0.6%

ASMs (000,000) "capacity"

15,702


15,343


2.3%


44,816


44,730


0.2%

Load factor

86.2%


85.4%


0.8 pts


84.6%


84.2%


0.4 pts

Yield

13.66¢


13.18¢


3.6%


13.29¢


12.95¢


2.6%

RASM

12.83¢


12.28¢


4.5%


12.30¢


11.90¢


3.4%

CASMex(b)

7.81¢


7.34¢


6.4%


7.91¢


7.58¢


4.4%

Economic fuel cost per gallon(b)

$2.13


$2.32


(8.2)%


$2.17


$2.25


(3.6)%

Fuel gallons (000,000)

193


189


2.1%


549


549


—%

ASM's per gallon

81.4


81.2


0.2%


81.6


81.5


0.1%

Average number of FTE's

16,789


16,499


1.8%


16,599


16,330


1.6%

Aircraft utilization

11.3


11.4


(0.9)%


10.9


11.4


(4.4)%

Average aircraft stage length

1,281


1,291


(0.8)%


1,298


1,293


0.4%

Operating fleet

238


231


7 a/c


238


231


7 a/c

Regional Operating Statistics:(c)












Revenue passengers (000)

2,919


2,693


8.4%


8,293


7,578


9.4%

RPMs (000,000) "traffic"

1,488


1,290


15.3%


4,196


3,595


16.7%

ASMs (000,000) "capacity"

1,817


1,600


13.6%


5,190


4,526


14.7%

Load factor

81.9%


80.6%


1.3 pts


80.8%


79.4%


1.4 pts

Yield

24.23¢


24.50¢


(1.1)%


23.81¢


23.49¢


1.4%

RASM

20.51¢


20.41¢


0.5%


19.93¢


19.32¢


3.2%

Operating fleet

94


89


5 a/c


94


89


5 a/c



(a)

Except for FTEs, data includes information related to third-party regional capacity purchase flying arrangements.

(b)

See a reconciliation of this non-GAAP measure and Note A for a discussion of potential importance of this measure to investors in the accompanying pages.

(c)

Data presented includes information related to flights operated by Horizon and third-party carriers, excluding PenAir.

 

OPERATING SEGMENTS (unaudited)

Alaska Air Group, Inc.




























Three Months Ended September 30, 2019

(in millions)

Mainline


Regional


Horizon


Consolidating
& Other


Air Group
Adjusted(a)


Special
Items(b)


Consolidated

Operating revenues














Passenger revenues

$

1,850



$

361



$



$



$

2,211



$



$

2,211


CPA revenues





112



(112)








Mileage Plan other revenue

107



11







118





118


Cargo and other

58



1





1



60





60


Total operating revenues

2,015



373



112



(111)



2,389





2,389


Operating expenses














Operating expenses, excluding fuel

1,226



275



94



(119)



1,476



5



1,481


Economic fuel

411



75







486





486


Total operating expenses

1,637



350



94



(119)



1,962



5



1,967


Nonoperating income (expense)














Interest income

17







(6)



11





11


Interest expense

(18)





(7)



7



(18)





(18)


Interest capitalized

4









4





4


Other - net

(3)









(3)





(3)


Total Nonoperating income (expense)





(7)



1



(6)





(6)


Income (loss) before income tax

$

378



$

23



$

11



$

9



$

421



$

(5)



$

416





Three Months Ended September 30, 2018

(in millions)

Mainline


Regional


Horizon


Consolidating
& Other


Air Group
Adjusted(a)


Special
Items(b)


Consolidated

Operating revenues














Passenger revenues

$

1,727



$

316



$



$



$

2,043



$



$

2,043


CPA revenues





128



(128)








Mileage Plan other revenue

104



10







114





114


Cargo and other

53





2





55





55


Total operating revenues

1,884



326



130



(128)



2,212





2,212


Operating expenses














Operating expenses, excluding fuel

1,126



267



118



(131)



1,380



22



1,402


Economic fuel

438



70







508



5



513


Total operating expenses

1,564



337



118



(131)



1,888



27



1,915


Nonoperating income (expense)














Interest income

15







(4)



11





11


Interest expense

(20)





(6)



4



(22)





(22)


Interest capitalized

4





1





5





5


Other - net

(5)



(2)







(7)





(7)


Total Nonoperating income (expense)

(6)



(2)



(5)





(13)





(13)


Income (loss) before income tax

$

314



$

(13)



$

7



$

3



$

311



$

(27)



$

284





Nine Months Ended September 30, 2019

(in millions)

Mainline


Regional


Horizon


Consolidating
& Other


Air Group
Adjusted(a)


Special
Items(b)


Consolidated

Operating revenues














Passenger revenues

$

5,039



$

999



$



$



$

6,038



$



$

6,038


CPA revenues





340



(340)








Mileage Plan other revenue

312



34







346





346


Cargo and other

163



2



1



3



169





169


Total operating revenues

5,514



1,035



341



(337)



6,553





6,553


Operating expenses














Operating expenses, excluding fuel

3,545



817



286



(353)



4,295



39



4,334


Economic fuel

1,191



218







1,409



(1)



1,408


Total operating expenses

4,736



1,035



286



(353)



5,704



38



5,742


Nonoperating income (expense)














Interest income

50







(19)



31





31


Interest expense

(58)





(22)



20



(60)





(60)


Interest capitalized

11









11





11


Other - net

(20)









(20)





(20)


Total Nonoperating income (expense)

(17)





(22)



1



(38)





(38)


Income (loss) before income tax

$

761



$



$

33



$

17



$

811



$

(38)



$

773





Nine Months Ended September 30, 2018

(in millions)

Mainline


Regional


Horizon


Consolidating
& Other


Air Group
Adjusted(a)


Special
Items(b)


Consolidated

Operating revenues














Passenger revenues

$

4,879



$

845



$



$



$

5,724



$



$

5,724


CPA revenues





375



(375)








Mileage Plan other revenue

301



28







329





329


Cargo and other

142



1



4





147





147


Total operating revenues

5,322



874



379



(375)



6,200





6,200


Operating expenses














Operating expenses, excluding fuel

3,392



755



345



(378)



4,114



92



4,206


Economic fuel

1,237



190







1,427



(30)



1,397


Total operating expenses

4,629



945



345



(378)



5,541



62



5,603


Nonoperating income (expense)














Interest income

39







(10)



29





29


Interest expense

(64)





(16)



9



(71)





(71)


Interest capitalized

12





2





14





14


Other - net

(9)



(11)







(20)





(20)


Total Nonoperating income (expense)

(22)



(11)



(14)



(1)



(48)





(48)


Income (loss) before income tax

$

671



$

(82)



$

20



$

2



$

611



$

(62)



$

549




(a)

The Air Group Adjusted column represents the financial information that is reviewed by management to assess performance of operations and determine capital allocation and excludes certain charges. See Note A in the accompanying pages for further information.

(b)

Includes merger-related costs, an employee bonus awarded in January 2018 in connection with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and mark-to-market fuel hedge accounting adjustments.

 

GAAP TO NON-GAAP RECONCILIATIONS (unaudited)





Alaska Air Group, Inc.
















CASM Excluding Fuel and Special Items Reconciliation


Three Months Ended
September 30,


Nine Months Ended

September 30,


2019


2018


2019


2018

Consolidated:








CASM

11.23

¢


11.30

¢


11.48

¢


11.38

¢

Less the following components:








Aircraft fuel, including hedging gains and losses

2.77



3.02



2.82



2.84


Special items - merger-related costs

0.03



0.13



0.07



0.14


Special items - other(a)







0.05


CASM excluding fuel and special items

8.43

¢


8.15

¢


8.59

¢


8.35

¢









Mainline:








CASM

10.46

¢


10.37

¢


10.65

¢


10.49

¢

Less the following components:








Aircraft fuel, including hedging gains and losses

2.62



2.89



2.65



2.70


Special items - merger-related costs

0.03



0.14



0.09



0.15


Special items - other(a)







0.06


CASM excluding fuel and special items

7.81

¢


7.34

¢


7.91

¢


7.58

¢



 (a) 

Special items - other includes special charges associated with the employee tax reform bonus awarded in January 2018.

 

Fuel Reconciliation


Three Months Ended September 30,


2019


2018

(in millions, except for per-gallon amounts)

Dollars


Cost/Gallon


Dollars


Cost/Gallon

Raw or "into-plane" fuel cost

$

481



$

2.11



$

520



$

2.38


(Gains) losses on settled hedges

5



0.02



(12)



(0.05)


Consolidated economic fuel expense

486



2.13



508



2.33


Mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustment





5



0.02


GAAP fuel expense

$

486



$

2.13



$

513



$

2.35


Fuel gallons

227





218













Nine Months Ended September 30,


2019


2018

(in millions, except for per gallon amounts)

Dollars


Cost/Gallon


Dollars


Cost/Gallon

Raw or "into-plane" fuel cost

$

1,397



$

2.16



$

1,450



$

2.30


(Gains) losses on settled hedges

12



0.02



(23)



(0.04)


Consolidated economic fuel expense

$

1,409



$

2.18



$

1,427



$

2.26


Mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustment

(1)





(30)



(0.05)


GAAP fuel expense

$

1,408



$

2.18



$

1,397



$

2.21


Fuel gallons

646





631





Debt-to-capitalization, adjusted for operating leases

(in millions)

September 30, 2019


December 31, 2018

Long-term debt

$

1,444



$

1,617


Capitalized operating leases(a)

1,644



1,768


Adjusted debt

3,088



3,385


Shareholders' equity

4,252



3,751


Total Invested Capital

$

7,340



$

7,136






Debt-to-capitalization ratio, including operating leases

42

%


47

%



(a) 

Following the adoption of the new lease accounting standard on January 1, 2019, the ratio is calculated using the total capitalized Operating lease liability, whereas prior year periods were calculated utilizing the present value of aircraft lease payments. This change had no impact to the ratio.

 

Net adjusted debt to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, special items and rent

(in millions)

September 30, 2019

Adjusted debt

$

3,088


Current portion of long-term debt

265


Total adjusted debt

3,353


Less: Cash and marketable securities

(1,619)


Net adjusted debt

$

1,734




(in millions)

Last Twelve Months
Ended September 30,
2019

GAAP Operating Income(a)

$

857


Adjusted for:


Special items

79


Mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments

51


Depreciation and amortization

425


Aircraft rent

329


EBITDAR

$

1,741




Net adjusted debt to EBITDAR

1.0x



(a)

Operating income can be reconciled using the trailing twelve month operating income as filed quarterly with the SEC.

Note A: Pursuant to Regulation G, we are providing reconciliations of reported non-GAAP financial measures to their most directly comparable financial measures reported on a GAAP basis. We believe that consideration of these non-GAAP financial measures may be important to investors for the following reasons:

  • By eliminating fuel expense and certain special items (including merger-related costs) from our unit metrics, we believe that we have better visibility into the results of operations and our non-fuel cost-reduction initiatives. Our industry is highly competitive and is characterized by high fixed costs, so even a small reduction in non-fuel operating costs can result in a significant improvement in operating results. In addition, we believe that all domestic carriers are similarly impacted by changes in jet fuel costs over the long run, so it is important for management (and thus investors) to understand the impact of (and trends in) company-specific cost drivers such as labor rates and productivity, airport costs, maintenance costs, etc., which are more controllable by management.
  • Cost per ASM (CASM) excluding fuel and certain special items, such as merger-related costs, is one of the most important measures used by management and by the Air Group Board of Directors in assessing quarterly and annual cost performance.
  • Adjusted income before income tax and CASM excluding fuel (and other items as specified in our plan documents) are important metrics for the employee incentive plan, which covers the majority of Air Group employees.
  • CASM excluding fuel and certain special items is a measure commonly used by industry analysts, and we believe it is the basis by which they compare our airlines to others in the industry. The measure is also the subject of frequent questions from investors.
  • Disclosure of the individual impact of certain noted items provides investors the ability to measure and monitor performance both with and without these special items. We believe that disclosing the impact of certain items, such as merger-related costs and mark-to-market hedging adjustments, is important because it provides information on significant items that are not necessarily indicative of future performance. Industry analysts and investors consistently measure our performance without these items for better comparability between periods and among other airlines.
  • Although we disclose our passenger unit revenues, we do not (nor are we able to) evaluate unit revenues excluding the impact that changes in fuel costs have had on ticket prices. Fuel expense represents a large percentage of our total operating expenses. Fluctuations in fuel prices often drive changes in unit revenues in the mid-to-long term. Although we believe it is useful to evaluate non-fuel unit costs for the reasons noted above, we would caution readers of these financial statements not to place undue reliance on unit costs excluding fuel as a measure or predictor of future profitability because of the significant impact of fuel costs on our business.

GLOSSARY OF TERMS

Aircraft Utilization - block hours per day; this represents the average number of hours per day our aircraft are in transit

Aircraft Stage Length - represents the average miles flown per aircraft departure

ASMs - available seat miles, or "capacity"; represents total seats available across the fleet multiplied by the number of miles flown

CASM - operating costs per ASM, or "unit cost"; represents all operating expenses including fuel and special items

CASMex - operating costs excluding fuel and special items per ASM; this metric is used to help track progress toward reduction of non-fuel operating costs since fuel is largely out of our control

Debt-to-capitalization ratio - represents adjusted debt (long-term debt plus the present value of future operating lease payments) divided by total equity plus adjusted debt

Diluted Earnings per Share - represents earnings per share (EPS) using fully diluted shares outstanding

Diluted Shares - represents the total number of shares that would be outstanding if all possible sources of conversion, such as stock options, were exercised

Economic Fuel - best estimate of the cash cost of fuel, net of the impact of our fuel-hedging program

Free Cash Flow - total operating cash flow generated less cash paid for capital expenditures

Load Factor - RPMs as a percentage of ASMs; represents the number of available seats that were filled with paying passengers

Mainline - represents flying Boeing 737, Airbus 320 and Airbus 321neo family jets and all associated revenues and costs

Net adjusted debt - long-term debt, including current portion, plus capitalized operating leases, less cash and marketable securities

Net adjusted debt to EBITDAR - represents net adjusted debt divided by EBITDAR (trailing twelve months earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, special items and rent)

Productivity - number of revenue passengers per full-time equivalent employee

RASM - operating revenue per ASMs, or "unit revenue"; operating revenue includes all passenger revenue, freight & mail, Mileage Plan and other ancillary revenue; represents the average total revenue for flying one seat one mile

Regional - represents capacity purchased by Alaska from Horizon, SkyWest and PenAir. In this segment, Regional records actual on-board passenger revenue, less costs such as fuel, distribution costs, and payments made to Horizon, SkyWest and PenAir under the respective capacity purchased arrangement (CPAs). Additionally, Regional includes an allocation of corporate overhead such as IT, finance, other administrative costs incurred by Alaska and on behalf of Horizon.

RPMs - revenue passenger miles, or "traffic"; represents the number of seats that were filled with paying passengers; one passenger traveling one mile is one RPM

Yield - passenger revenue per RPM; represents the average revenue for flying one passenger one mile

Cision View original content:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/alaska-air-group-reports-third-quarter-2019-results-300944529.html

SOURCE Alaska Air Group Inc.