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SkyWest's (SKYW) Q4 Earnings Beat Estimates, Increase Y/Y

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 SkyWest SKYW delivered better-than-expected fourth-quarter 2019 results. The company’s earnings of $1.43 per share surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.41. Also, the bottom line improved 11.7% on a year-over-year basis. Results benefited from the company’s fleet-transition initiatives. Notably, SkyWest added 10 E175 aircraft and seven CRJ900 aircraft to its fleet since the fourth quarter of 2018.

Quarterly revenues came in at $743.6 million, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $737.1 million. However, the top line declined 7.45% year over year due to the sale of ExpressJet Airlines in January 2019. The carrier reported a 4.7% increase in block hours (a measure of aircraft utilization) during the reported quarter. Operating expenses declined 9.4% to $618 million owing to the sale of ExpressJet Airlines. Expenses on salaries, wages and benefits declined 16.7% to $249 million.

SkyWest, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

 

SkyWest, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

SkyWest, Inc. price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | SkyWest, Inc. Quote

 

The company, carrying a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), exited 2019 with cash and marketable securities of $520 million, down 24.5% year over year.  Long-term debt (net of current maturities) fell 7.14% year over year to $2.6 billion. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

We are optimistic about the company’s efforts to reward shareholders. Evidently, the company bought back shares worth $10 million under its $250-million buyback program during the quarter under review.

Apart from the earnings report, SkyWest was also in the news regarding the deal signed with Brazil-based aerospace company — Embraer — as part of its fleet modernization exercise. SkyWest inked a firm order for 20 E175 jets. The contract is valued at $972 million, based on 2019 list prices. Embraer is expected to start delivering the jets from the second half of 2020.

Upcoming Releases

Investors interested in the broader Transportation sector are awaiting fourth-quarter 2019 earnings reports from key players like Air Lease Corporation AL , Expeditors International of Washington (EXPD - Free Report) and Hertz Global Holdings HTZ .

Air Lease and Expeditors will announce fourth-quarter results on Feb 14 and Feb 18, respectively. Hertz will release fourth-quarter results on Feb 24.

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