Mesa Air Group Announces Third Quarter Fiscal Year 2019 Results

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PHOENIX, Aug. 08, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Mesa Air Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: MESA) today reported third quarter Fiscal Year 2019 financial and operating results.

Mesa’s Q3 2019 results reflect net income of $3.0 million, or $0.09 per diluted share, compared to net income of ($11.1) million, or ($0.48) per diluted share for Q3 2018.  Excluding special items, which includes $9.5 million of non-cash one-time expense related to the termination of ten leased aircraft subsequently purchased, adjusted net income was $10.4 million for Q3 2019, compared to $8.8 million for Q3 2018. Mesa’s Q3 2019 pre-tax income was $3.9 million, compared to ($14.6) million for Q3 2018.  Excluding special items, adjusted pre-tax income was $13.4 million for Q3 2019, compared to $11.6 million for Q3 2018. In addition, Mesa’s Adjusted EBITDA for Q3 2019 was $45.9 million, compared to $41.7 million in Q3 2018 and Adjusted EBITDAR was $58.8 million, compared to $59.7 million in Q3 2018.

On June 14, 2019 the company finalized the purchase of 10 CRJ-700 aircraft, previously leased from GECAS, for $70.0 million and financed the entire purchase price of $70.0 million with a four-year term loan.

Mesa operated 114,042 block hours during Q3 2019, an increase of 10.8% from Q3 2018 of 102,939. Operationally, we ran a 99.4% controllable completion factor and a 95.9% total completion factor, which includes weather and other uncontrollable cancellations.

During the quarter, we experienced significant operational challenges in our American operation, with one aircraft unavailable following a ground damage incident and two aircraft unavailable due to extended c-check turn times caused by Bombardier labor shortages. These three aircraft were unavailable for nearly all of Q3, which resulted in us operating with an insufficient number of spare aircraft. These events, combined with an industry-wide avionics failure impacting CRJ-900 aircraft, resulted in us failing to meet the new performance criteria, and American elected to remove two aircraft from the capacity purchase agreement effective November 2, 2019. 

“Q3 presented a number of short term operational challenges.  Although our operational performance did not meet our expectations, I believe our employees achieved far better results than anticipated given the lack of spare aircraft.  We expect by the end of August to have the full fleet available.” said Brad Rich, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.  “During the quarter we implemented a number of initiatives that improved operational performance and, unfortunately, this short-term lack of spare aircraft negated our efforts.”

Mike Lotz, President and Chief Financial Officer continued, “Our Q3 FY 2019 year to date diluted EPS of $1.01 and adjusted diluted EPS of $1.30 compares favorably to Q3 FY 2018 year to date diluted EPS of $0.58 and adjusted diluted EPS of $0.52.  The decrease in financial performance for Q3 FY 2019 versus Q2 FY 2019 was primarily driven by the timing of heavy maintenance events, an increase in pilot and pilot training expense based on the expectation that we will require additional pilots going forward as well as an uptick in line maintenance expense. During the quarter we also finalized the purchase and financing of 10 CRJ-700 aircraft, reducing the total number of leased aircraft with third parties to 18.”

“I would like to thank our people for their performance in light of the obstacles we faced. Despite this quarter’s challenges, we believe we remain well positioned to take advantage of future opportunities.  For the first three quarters of fiscal year 2019 we increased block hours by 14.3%, contract revenue by $40 million and decreased total operating expense per block hour by 17.7% compared to the same period last year,” stated Jonathan Ornstein, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “We continue to make significant investments primarily in pilot training and our maintenance capabilities.”

The Company is providing the following guidance for the fourth quarter of FY 2019:

Although these financial statements are prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the U.S. (“GAAP”), certain non-GAAP financial measures may provide investors with useful information regarding the underlying business trends and performance of Mesa’s ongoing operations and may be useful for period-over-period comparisons of such operations. The tables below reflect supplemental financial data and reconciliations to GAAP financial statements for the three and nine months ended June 30, 2019 and the three and nine months ended June 30, 2018. Readers should consider these non-GAAP measures in addition to, not a substitute for, financial reporting measures prepared in accordance with GAAP. These non-GAAP financial measures exclude some, but not all items that may affect the Company’s net income. Additionally, these calculations may not be comparable with similarly titled measures of other companies.

Adjustments:

1) Includes lease termination expense of $9.5 million related to the acquisition of ten CRJ-700 aircraft previously leased during the three months ended June 30, 2019

2) Includes lease termination expense of $15.1 million related to the acquisition of nine CRJ-900 aircraft previously leased during the three months ended June 30, 2018

3) Includes an adjustment of $11.1 million in General and Administrative expense related to an increase in accrued compensation as a result of the increase in the fair value of the Company’s common stock during the three months ended June 30, 2018

4) Includes adjustment for loss on extinguishment of debt of $3.6 million related to repayment of the Company’s Spare Engine Facility during the nine months ended June 30, 2019

5) Includes adjustment for $1.0 million of financing fees written off during the nine months ended June 30, 2018

6) Includes adjustment for tax benefit resulting from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted during Q1 2018.   The Act reduces the corporate tax rate to 21 percent, effective January 1, 2018

Mesa Air Group will host a conference call with analysts on Friday, August 9 at 1:00pm EDT/10:00am PDT. The conference call number is 888-469-2054 (Passcode: Phoenix). The conference call can also be accessed live via the web by visiting . A recorded version will be available on Mesa’s website approximately two hours after the call for approximately 14 days.

Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Mesa Air Group is the commercial aviation holding company of Mesa Airlines, a regional air carrier providing scheduled passenger service to 138 cities in 42 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, Mexico, Cuba, and the Bahamas. As of July 31, 2019, Mesa operated a fleet of 145 aircraft with approximately 761 daily departures and 3,400 employees. Mesa operates all of its flights as either American Eagle or United Express flights pursuant to the terms of capacity purchase agreements entered into with American Airlines, Inc. and United Airlines, Inc.

Source: Mesa Air Group, Inc.

Mesa Air Group, Inc. Investor Relations Brian Gillman (602) 685-4010

 

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Globe Newswire: 21:30 GMT Thursday 8th August 2019

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