Hawaiian Holdings, Inc.’s (HA - Free Report) fourth-quarter 2019 earnings (excluding 8 cents from non-recurring items) of 99 cents per share outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 87 cents. However, the bottom line dipped 1% year over year. Although quarterly revenues of $708.1 million missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $709.3 million it inched up 1.5% year over year.
Passenger revenues accounting for bulk (91.6%) of the top line increased 1.6% year over year. Airline traffic, measured in revenue passenger miles, climbed 5.6% year over year to 4.53 billion in the quarter under review. Capacity or available seat miles (ASMs) expanded 3.7% to 5.26 billion. Load factor (percentage of seats filled by passengers) improved 150 basis points to 86.1% in the reported quarter as traffic growth outpaced capacity expansion.
Meanwhile, operating revenue per available seat mile (RASM: a key measure of unit revenues) in the quarter slid 2.1% year over year. Average fuel cost per gallon decreased 6.8% to $2.05 in the fourth quarter while non-fuel unit costs inched up 0.8%.
During 2019, Hawaiian Holdings returned $91.6 million to shareholders through $68.8 million in buybacks and $22.8 million in dividends.
As of Dec 31, 2019, this Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) company’s unrestricted cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments totaled $619 million while outstanding debt and finance lease obligations were $764 million.
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Capacity (or ASMs) is anticipated to increase 7.5-10.5% year over year. RASM is expected to decline 4.5-7.5% in the current quarter. Adjusted Cost per ASM (CASM) excluding fuel is estimated to slip 1.5-4.5%. Additionally, economic fuel cost per gallon is estimated at $1.97.
For the current year, ASMs are projected to expand 5.5-8.5%. Adjusted CASM excluding fuel is predicted to either decline up to 2.5% or increase up to 0.5%. Economic fuel cost per gallon is expected to be $1.85. For full-year effective tax rate is forecast in the range of 26-28%.
Investors interested in the broader Transportation sector are keenly awaiting fourth-quarter earnings reports from key players, such as Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc. (ODFL - Free Report) , Air Lease Corporation (AL - Free Report) and Copa Holdings, S.A. (CPA - Free Report) . While Old Dominion will release earnings numbers on Feb 6, Copa and Air Lease will announce the same on Feb 12 and Feb 14, respectively.
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