PURCHASE, N.Y., May 5, 2021 – Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: AAWW) today announced first-quarter 2021 net income of $89.9 million, or $3.05 per diluted share, compared with $23.4 million, or $0.90 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2020.
On an adjusted basis, EBITDA rose to $181.3 million in the first quarter of 2021 compared with $121.2 million in the prior-year period. Adjusted net income grew to $72.2 million, or $2.45 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2021 compared with $29.9 million, or $1.15 per diluted share, in the prior-year period.
“Our performance was driven by the strength and flexibility of our global business model and our team continuing to capitalize on the current airfreight environment, with demand and yields that are well above typical seasonal levels,” said Atlas Air Worldwide President and Chief Executive Officer John W. Dietrich.
“Our results also benefited from flying four 747 freighters and one 777 freighter that we reintroduced to our fleet throughout 2020 to serve customer demand.
“I would like to thank our team for continuing to deliver safe, high-quality service for our customers in this very challenging operating environment. We flexed our global network and increased aircraft utilization to match airfreight demand. We also positioned ourselves for the future by entering into and extending numerous long-term charter agreements with strategic customers.”
Mr. Dietrich added: “We are off to a very good start in 2021 and are seeing continued business momentum in the second quarter. We are closely monitoring the market and leveraging the diversity of our business model. This includes being prepared to capitalize on global market conditions as well as being able to successfully adjust to any changes.
“With the strong global demand for airfreight outpacing air cargo supply, we anticipate airfreight demand and yields to remain strong, with capacity on long-haul trade lanes remaining tight. International passenger flying on widebody aircraft has been slow to recover, and will likely be last to return as countries continue to struggle with COVID-19 and many borders remain closed. Recent passenger air traffic has largely been driven by pent-up demand for domestic and regional leisure travel with smaller-gauge aircraft, which is less impactful to international airfreight.
“In the second quarter of 2021, we expect to fly approximately 90,000 block hours, with revenue of approximately $950 million, and adjusted EBITDA of about $210 million. In addition, we anticipate adjusted net income to grow approximately 30% compared with adjusted net income of $72.2 million in the first quarter of 2021.*
“Given ongoing economic and market-related uncertainties, including COVID-19, new variants of the virus, surges in cases globally, travel restrictions, low international passenger travel and other factors, we are providing a second-quarter outlook, but not issuing a full-year 2021 earnings outlook at this time.”
Segment Reporting Change
Beginning with our first-quarter 2021 results, we have changed our operating and reportable segments to reflect the evolution of our business. As the ACMI and Charter services have become more similar, we view and manage them as one segment.
We now have two operating and reportable segments: Airline Operations and Dry Leasing. Previously, our operating and reportable segments were ACMI, Charter and Dry Leasing. Our Airline Operations segment provides outsourced aircraft operating services to customers on an ACMI, CMI and Charter basis. No changes have been made to our Dry Leasing segment.
Volumes in the first quarter of 2021 increased to 88,523 block hours compared with 73,247 in the first quarter of 2020, with revenue growing to $861.3 million versus $643.5 million in the prior-year period.
Higher Airline Operations revenue primarily reflected a significant increase in flying and a higher average rate per block hour. Block-hour growth during the period was driven by increased demand for our commercial cargo Charter and CMI services, reflecting higher airfreight volumes and a reduction of available cargo capacity in the market, the disruption of global supply chains due to the pandemic and our ability to increase aircraft utilization. In addition, segment revenue benefited from the operation of four 747-400 freighters we reactivated throughout 2020 and a 777-200 freighter that was previously in our Dry Leasing business. Partially offsetting these improvements was lower AMC passenger Charter flying as the U.S. military has taken precautionary measures to limit the movement of military personnel. The increase in the average rate per block hour was primarily due to an increase in higher-yielding commercial cargo Charter flying, partially offset by lower fuel costs and an increase in CMI flying.
Higher Airline Operations segment contribution in the first quarter of 2021 was primarily driven by the positive factors benefiting segment revenue mentioned above. These improvements were partially offset by: higher pilot costs related to premium pay for pilots operating in certain areas significantly impacted by COVID-19; increased pay rates we provided to our pilots in May 2020; and higher heavy maintenance.
In Dry Leasing, segment revenue and contribution in the first quarter of 2021 was relatively unchanged compared with the prior-year period.
Lower unallocated income and expenses, net, during the quarter primarily reflected CARES Act grant income of $40.9 million, which has been excluded from our adjusted results.
Reported earnings in the first quarter of 2021 also included an effective income tax rate of 23.7%. On an adjusted basis, our results reflected an effective income tax rate of 21.9%.
At March 31, 2021, our cash, including cash equivalents and restricted cash, totaled $714.0 million compared with $856.3 million at December 31, 2020.
The change in position resulted from cash used for investing and financing activities, partially offset by cash provided by operating activities.
Net cash used for investing activities during the first quarter of 2021 primarily related to capital expenditures and payments for flight equipment and modifications, including pre-delivery payments for 747-8F aircraft, spare engines, GEnx engine overhauls and performance upgrade kits.
Net cash used for financing activities during the period primarily related to payments on debt obligations, partially offset by proceeds from debt issuance.
We remain committed to reaching a new Joint Collective Bargaining Agreement (JCBA) with our Atlas Air and Southern Air pilots, and have moved closer to completion. Scheduled arbitration hearings concluded on April 1, 2021, and the union has now provided the company with the integrated seniority list, which is a critical item for implementing the new JCBA. The next step is for both parties to submit post-hearing briefs. The arbitrator will then consider all of the information presented and render a binding decision, which we expect in the second half of this year.
We expect to fly approximately 90,000 block hours in the second quarter of 2021, with revenue of approximately $950 million, and adjusted EBITDA of about $210 million. In addition, we expect second-quarter 2021 adjusted net income to grow approximately 30% compared with adjusted net income of $72.2 million in the first quarter of 2021.*
Our outlook anticipates commercial cargo charter yields in the second quarter of 2021 to remain above typical seasonal levels, but below the historically high yields experienced during the second quarter of 2020.
We expect second-quarter results to continue to be impacted by ongoing pandemic-related expenses, including pilot premium pay and operational costs for providing a safe working environment for our employees. We also expect higher pilot costs related to increased pay rates we provided to our pilots in May 2020.
For the full year in 2021, we continue to expect aircraft maintenance expense to be lower than 2020, and depreciation and amortization to total about $270 million. In addition, core capital expenditures, which exclude aircraft and engine purchases, are projected to total approximately $110 to $120 million, mainly for parts and components for our fleet.
Given ongoing economic and market-related uncertainties, including COVID-19, new variants of the virus, surges in cases globally, travel restrictions, low international passenger travel and other factors, we are providing a second-quarter outlook, but not issuing a full-year 2021 earnings outlook at this time.
Other than with regard to revenue, we provide guidance only on an adjusted basis because we are unable to predict, with reasonable certainty and without unreasonable effort, the effects of future gains and losses on asset sales, special charges and other unanticipated items that could be material to our reported results.*
As previously announced, management will host a conference call to discuss Atlas Air Worldwide’s first-quarter 2021 financial and operating results at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, May 5, 2021.
Interested parties may listen to the call live at Atlas Air Worldwide’s Investor site or at https://edge.media-server.com/mmc/p/4p2gxgty.
For those unable to listen to the live call, a replay will be archived on the Investor site following the call. A replay will also be available through May 12 by dialing (855) 859-2056 (U.S. Toll Free) or (404) 537-3406 (from outside the U.S.) and using Access Code 8943268#.
To supplement our financial statements presented in accordance with U.S. GAAP, we present certain non-GAAP financial measures to assist in the evaluation of our business performance. These non-GAAP measures include Adjusted EBITDA; Adjusted net income; Adjusted Diluted EPS; Adjusted effective tax rate; and Free Cash Flow, which exclude certain noncash income and expenses, and items impacting year-over-year comparisons of our results. These non-GAAP measures may not be comparable to similarly titled measures used by other companies and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for Net income (loss); Diluted EPS; Effective tax rate; and Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities, which are the most directly comparable measures of performance prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP.
Our management uses these non-GAAP financial measures in assessing the performance of the company’s ongoing operations and in planning and forecasting future periods. We believe that these adjusted measures, when considered together with the corresponding U.S. GAAP financial measures and the reconciliations to those measures, provide meaningful supplemental information to assist investors and analysts in understanding our financial results and assessing our prospects for future performance. For example:
*Other than with regard to revenue, we provide guidance only on an adjusted basis and are unable to provide forward-looking guidance on a U.S. GAAP basis or a reconciliation to the most directly comparable U.S. GAAP measures because we are unable to predict with reasonable certainty and without unreasonable effort, the ultimate outcome of certain significant items, including future gains and losses on asset sales, special charges and other unanticipated items. These items are uncertain, depend on various factors, and could have a material impact on our U.S. GAAP results.
Atlas Air Worldwide is a leading global provider of outsourced aircraft and aviation operating services. It is the parent company of Atlas Air, Inc., Southern Air Holdings, Inc. and Titan Aviation Holdings, Inc., and is the majority shareholder of Polar Air Cargo Worldwide, Inc. Our companies operate the world’s largest fleet of 747 freighter aircraft and provide customers the broadest array of Boeing 747, 777, 767 and 737 aircraft for domestic, regional and international cargo and passenger operations.
Atlas Air Worldwide’s press releases, SEC filings and other information may be accessed through the company’s home page, www.atlasairworldwide.com.
This release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that reflect Atlas Air Worldwide’s current views with respect to certain current and future events and financial performance. Those statements are based on management’s beliefs, plans, expectations and assumptions, and on information currently available to management. Generally, the words “will,” “may,” “should,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “continue,” “believe,” “seek,” “project,” “estimate,” and similar expressions used in this release that do not relate to historical facts are intended to identify forward-looking statements.
Such forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this release. They are and will be, as the case may be, subject to many risks, uncertainties and factors relating to the operations and business environments of Atlas Air Worldwide and its subsidiaries (collectively, the “companies”) that may cause the actual results of the companies to be materially different from any future results, express or implied, in such forward-looking statements.
Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the following: our ability to effectively operate the network service contemplated by our agreements with Amazon; our ability to coordinate with Amazon to accept newly converted aircraft; the possibility that Amazon may terminate its agreements with the companies; the ability of the companies to operate pursuant to the terms of their financing facilities; the ability of the companies to obtain and maintain normal terms with vendors and service providers; the companies’ ability to maintain contracts that are critical to their operations; the ability of the companies to fund and execute their business plan; the ability of the companies to attract, motivate and/or retain key executives, pilots and associates; the ability of the companies to attract and retain customers; the continued availability of our wide-body aircraft; demand for cargo services in the markets in which the companies operate; changes in U.S. and foreign government trade policies; economic conditions; the impact of geographical events or health epidemics such as the COVID-19 pandemic; our compliance with the requirements and restrictions under the Payroll Support Program; the effects of any hostilities or act of war (in the Middle East or elsewhere) or any terrorist attack; significant data breach or disruption of our information technology systems; labor costs and relations, work stoppages and service slowdowns; the outcome of pending negotiations and arbitration with our pilots’ union; financing costs; the cost and availability of war risk insurance; aviation fuel costs; security-related costs; competitive pressures on pricing (especially from lower-cost competitors); volatility in the international currency markets; weather conditions; government legislation and regulation; border restrictions; consumer perceptions of the companies’ products and services; anticipated and future litigation; and other risks and uncertainties set forth from time to time in Atlas Air Worldwide’s reports to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.
For additional information, we refer you to the risk factors set forth under the heading “Risk Factors” in the most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent reports on Form 10-Q filed by Atlas Air Worldwide with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Other factors and assumptions not identified above may also affect the forward-looking statements, and these other factors and assumptions may also cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed.
Except as stated in this release, Atlas Air Worldwide is not providing guidance or estimates regarding its anticipated business and financial performance for 2021 or thereafter.
Atlas Air Worldwide assumes no obligation to update such statements contained in this release to reflect actual results, changes in assumptions or changes in other factors affecting such estimates other than as required by law and expressly disclaims any obligation to revise or update publicly any forward-looking statement to reflect future events or circumstances.
* * *