ExpressJet releases Q4 and full-year 2009 results

ExpressJet Holdings, parent company of regional and charter airline operator, ExpressJet Airlines, Inc, has reported fourth quarter 2009 net income of $30.2 million and a net loss of $3.3 million for the full calendar year.

The quarterly result reflect a one-time income tax benefit of $47.6 million, including a $17.1 million cash receivable associated with recent tax legislation, and an approximate $30 million non-cash adjustment of deferred tax assets.

Excluding special items, ExpressJet reported a $1.6 million net loss for the full-year 2009

For the three months ended 31 December 2009, ExpressJet recorded an operating loss of $17.1 million versus an operating loss of $8.7 million in 2008. The key drivers for ExpressJet’s operating performance during the fourth quarter 2009 included continuing utilisation pressure; rising expenses associated with wages and benefit programmes coupled with record low attrition; and lower than expected consumer price index adjustment impacting block hour revenue rates under the company’s agreement with Continental Airlines.
"We are disappointed with our fourth quarter operating losses given the strides we’ve made to transition our company and the hard work of our employees," said Pat Kelly, interim president and chief executive officer. “We ended 2009 on a high note with the award of a new agreement with United Airlines that will assist us in returning to positive cash flows during 2010. In 2010, we will focus on controlling costs, continuing to provide our customers with exceptional service and successfully executing our business plan."

ExpressJet’s revenue in the three months ended 31 December 2009 was $168.8 million versus $160.5 million for the three months ended 31 December 2008. The company says the 5.1% improvement stems primarily from increases in both block hours and utilisation of approximately 7%.

For the full-year 2009, ExpressJet earned $688.2 million in revenue, including $597.4 million in passenger revenue for scheduled flying, $56.7 million through corporate aviation (charter) flying and $34.1 million in aviation services.

ExpressJet ended 2009 with $107.8 million in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments. The cash balance included $17.7 million in restricted cash and $9.1 million in short-term investments, primarily auction rate securities, after accounting adjustments to impair the value of these assets.

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