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American Airlines Group Reports Highest Quarterly Profit In Company History; Airline Also Announces Capital Deployment Program

July 29, 2014



ENP Newswire - 29 July 2014

Release date- 28072014 - FORT WORTH, Texas - American Airlines Group Inc. (NASDAQ: AAL) today reported its second quarter 2014 results.

Second quarter 2014 non-GAAP net profit excluding net special charges was $1.5 billion, a record for any quarter in the history of American Airlines

Second quarter 2014 GAAP net profit was a record $864 million

The Company also announced a capital deployment program, including over $2.8 billion in debt and aircraft lease prepayments, a $1 billion share repurchase program, the initiation of a quarterly cash dividend, and $600 million of additional pension contributions

As part of the program, American's Board of Directors declared a dividend of $0.10 per share for shareholders of record as of August 4, 2014. The cash dividend is the first declared by American since 1980

For the second quarter 2014, American Airlines Group reported a record GAAP net profit of $864 million. This compares to a GAAP net profit of $220 million in the second quarter 2013, for AMR Corporation prior to the merger. The Company believes it is more meaningful to compare year-over-year results for American Airlines and US Airways excluding special charges and on a combined basis, which is a non-GAAP formulation that combines the results for AMR Corporation and US Airways Group.

On this basis, second quarter 2014 net profit excluding net special charges was $1.5 billion, a record for any quarter in the history of the Company. This represents a 114 percent improvement over the combined non-GAAP net profit of $681 million excluding net special charges for the same period in 2013. See the accompanying notes in the Financial Tables section of this press release for further explanation of this presentation, including a reconciliation of GAAP to non-GAAP financial information.

'We are very pleased to report the highest quarterly profit in the history of American Airlines,' said Chairman and CEO Doug Parker. 'Our merger is off to a great start and our 100,000 team members are doing a wonderful job working together to take care of our customers.

'We are also pleased to announce a capital deployment program that reduces our debt, provides additional pension contributions and returns capital to shareholders. The fact that we are able to implement this program while still funding our significant product improvements, fleet renewal program and integration costs is further evidence of the success of our merger. We have much hard work ahead, but we are extremely encouraged by the great work being done by our team members.'

Revenue and Cost Comparisons

Total revenues in the second quarter were a record $11.4 billion, up 10.2 percent versus the second quarter 2013 on a combined basis, on a 3.1 percent increase in total available seat miles (ASMs). Driven by a record yield of 17.34 cents, up 6.5 percent year-over-year, consolidated passenger revenue per ASM (PRASM) was also a record at 14.57 cents, up 5.9 percent versus the second quarter 2013 on a combined basis.

Total operating expenses in the second quarter were $10.0 billion, up 7.0 percent over combined second quarter 2013. Second quarter mainline cost per available seat mile (CASM) was 13.61 cents, up 3.9 percent on a 3.5 percent increase in mainline ASMs versus combined second quarter 2013. Excluding special charges and fuel, mainline CASM was up 2.2 percent compared to the combined second quarter 2013, at 8.55 cents. Regional CASM excluding special charges and fuel was 15.80 cents, up 5.2 percent on a 0.4 percent decrease in regional ASMs versus combined second quarter 2013.

Liquidity

As of June 30, 2014, American had approximately $10.3 billion in total cash and short-term investments, of which $882 million was restricted. The Company also has an undrawn revolving credit facility of $1.0 billion.

During the quarter, the Company repaid $502 million of debt obligations, which includes approximately $175 million for the settlement of its 7.25% convertible notes with cash. The Company also prepaid $113 million of obligations associated with aircraft debt, $51 million associated with special facility revenue bonds and also used $630 million of cash to purchase aircraft that were previously being leased to the Company.

At June 30, 2014, approximately $791 million of the Company's unrestricted cash balance was held in Venezuelan bolivars, valued at the weighted average applicable exchange rate of 6.53 bolivars to the dollar. This includes approximately $94 million valued at 4.3 bolivars, approximately $611 million valued at 6.3 bolivars and approximately $86 million valued at 10.6 bolivars, with the rate depending on the date the Company submitted its repatriation request to the Venezuelan government. In the first quarter of 2014, the Venezuelan government announced that a newly implemented system (SICAD I) will determine the exchange rate (which fluctuates as determined by weekly auctions and at June 30, 2014 was 10.6 bolivars to the dollar) for repatriation of cash proceeds from ticket sales after January 1, 2014, and introduced new procedures for approval of repatriation of local currency.

The Company is continuing to work with Venezuelan authorities regarding the timing and exchange rate applicable to the repatriation of funds held in local currency. However, pending further repatriation of funds, and due to the significant decrease in demand for air travel resulting from the effective devaluation of the bolivar, the Company recently significantly reduced capacity in this market. The Company is monitoring this situation closely and continues to evaluate its holdings of Venezuelan bolivars for potential impairment.

Capital Deployment Program

The Company also announced a capital deployment program intended to efficiently allocate cash balances over and above those required to fund its business. The program has three key components:

Debt/Lease Prepayments: Since the merger closed in December 2013, the Company has prepaid $420 million of aircraft debt and bond obligations. In addition, the Company plans to prepay $480 million of special facility revenue bond obligations by the end of 2014. It is anticipated that these prepayments will represent a reduction in the Company's debt going forward. The Company has also used $630 million of cash to purchase aircraft that were previously leased to the Company and anticipates utilizing an additional $370 million of cash in this manner through the remainder of 2014. In addition, the Company has called for redemption of the remaining $900 million principal amount of the 7.5% senior notes due March 15, 2016. In total, these steps represent approximately $2.8 billion of prepayments that will be completed by the end of 2014.

Pension Funding: The Company plans to make supplemental contributions of $600 million to its defined benefit plans in 2014. These contributions would be above and beyond the $120 million minimum required contributions for 2014.

Return to Shareholders: The program includes a share repurchase program and the initiation of a quarterly dividend. The Company's Board of Directors authorized a $1.0 billion share repurchase program to be completed no later than December 31, 2015. The Board also declared a dividend of $0.10 per share for shareholders of record as of August 4, 2014. The dividend will be paid on August 18, 2014. This is the first cash dividend declared at American Airlines since 1980.

Shares repurchased under the program announced above may be made through a variety of methods, which may include open market purchases, privately negotiated transactions, block trades or accelerated share repurchase transactions. Any such repurchases will be made from time to time subject to market and economic conditions, applicable legal requirements and other relevant factors. The program does not obligate the Company to repurchase any specific number of shares or continue a dividend for any fixed period, and may be suspended at any time at management's discretion.

Additional Notable Accomplishments

Merger Integration Developments

US Airways joined American in the trans-Atlantic joint business agreement with British Airways, Iberia and Finnair and codeshare agreements with British Airways, Iberia and oneworld alliance partner airberlin

Combined operations at 72 airports since the merger

Began harmonizing its network by aligning flying between its hubs. The changes allow the Company to replace smaller regional aircraft with larger mainline aircraft and to redeploy regional jets to other markets to better match aircraft size with customer demand in small and medium sized communities

Announced new mileage redemption options for American Airlines AAdvantage and US Airways Dividend Miles members, along with new checked bag policies, and began to align the First and Business Class experience across the airline

Launched new reciprocal upgrade benefits for elite-level members

Conducted first joint Flight Attendant Training sessions with newly hired flight attendants from both airlines

Reached three agreements covering more than 11,000 US Airways mechanics, fleet service agents and maintenance training specialists with the International Association of Machinists union

Fleet and Network Developments

As part of its plan to modernize its fleet, the Company inducted 21 new aircraft during the second quarter

Expanded its European presence with new, seasonal summer service between its hub at Charlotte Douglas International Airport and Barcelona, Brussels, Lisbon and Manchester, U.K.

Strengthened its presence in the Asia-Pacific region with new nonstop service between Dallas/Fort Worth and Hong Kong and Shanghai

Announced twelve new routes in the United States and Canada from Dallas/Fort Worth, Chicago O'Hare, Los Angeles, Charlotte, N.C., Philadelphia and Phoenix, including service between DFW and new destination, Bismarck, N.D.The Company also began service between DFW and Edmonton, Alberta

Other Developments

Distributed $5.5 million in operational incentive payouts to employees for on-time departures in the month of April; this distribution of $50 per employee is part of the Company's Triple Play program which measures operational performance as reported in the DOT's Air Travel Consumer Report (ATCR). To date, the Company's employees have earned $16.5 million in operational incentive payouts

Honored with two awards from Airfinance Journal, including the 2013 Overall 'Deal of the Year' for its merger with US Airways, and the 2013 Airline 'Treasury Team of the Year' for its work on American's debt and lease restructuring, a major aircraft order and other financing

Employees donated more than 13,000 hours to numerous projects in the second quarter. In addition, the Company donated more than $3 million of travel to organizations including American Fallen Soldiers, the Gary Sinise Foundation, the San Diego Air and Space Museum, and Carry the Load

Recognized four employees with the 2014 Earl G. Graves Award for Leadership in Diversity for influencing positive change, setting an example and leaving a lasting impact on those around them

Special Items

In the second quarter, the Company recognized a total of $592 million in net special charges, including:

$253 million net special operating charges, which principally included $163 million of merger integration expenses, a net $38 million charge for bankruptcy related settlement obligations, $37 million in charges relating to the buyout of leases associated with certain aircraft, and $15 million of other special charges

Net $337 million non-cash tax charge, consisting primarily of a $330 million non-cash tax charge related to the Company's sale of its portfolio of fuel hedging contracts that were scheduled to settle on or after June 30, 2014. This charge reverses a non-cash tax provision which was recorded in Other Comprehensive Income (OCI), a subset of stockholder's equity, principally in 2009. The provision represents the tax effect associated with gains recorded in OCI principally in 2009 due to a net increase in the fair value of the Company's fuel hedging contracts

Conference Call / Webcast Details

The Company will conduct a live audio webcast of its earnings call today at 1:30 p.m. EDT, which will be available to the public on a listen-only basis at aa.com/investorrelations. An archive of the webcast will be available on the website through Aug. 24.

Investor Guidance

For financial forecasting detail, please refer to the Company's investor relations update also filed this morning with the Securities Exchange Commission on Form 8-K. This filing is available aa.com/investorrelations.

About American Airlines Group

American Airlines Group (NASDAQ: AAL) is the holding company for American Airlines and US Airways. Together with wholly owned and third-party regional carriers operating as American Eagle and US Airways Express, the airlines operate an average of nearly 6,700 flights per day to 339 destinations in 54 countries from its hubs in Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Washington, D.C. The American Airlines AAdvantage and US Airways Dividend Miles programs allow members to earn miles for travel, vacation packages, car rentals, hotel stays and everyday purchases. American is a founding member of the oneworld alliance, whose members and members-elect serve nearly 1,000 destinations with 14,250 daily flights to 150 countries. Connect with American on Twitter @AmericanAir and at Facebook.com/AmericanAirlines and follow US Airways on Twitter @USAirways.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements and Information

This document includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements may be identified by words such as 'may,' 'will,' 'expect,' 'intend,' 'anticipate,' 'believe,' 'estimate,' 'plan,' 'project,' 'could,' 'should,' 'would,' 'continue,' 'seek,' 'target,' 'guidance,' 'outlook,' 'if current trends continue,' 'optimistic,' 'forecast' and other similar words. Such statements include, but are not limited to, statements about future financial and operating results, our plans, objectives, estimates, expectations and intentions, and other statements that are not historical facts. These forward-looking statements are based on the current objectives, beliefs and expectations of the Company, and they are subject to significant risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results and financial position and timing of certain events to differ materially from the information in the forward-looking statements. The following factors, among others, could cause actual results and financial position and timing of certain events to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements: significant operating losses in the future; downturns in economic conditions that adversely affect the Company's business; the impact of continued periods of high volatility in fuel costs, increased fuel prices and significant disruptions in the supply of aircraft fuel; competitive practices in the industry, including the impact of low cost carriers, airline alliances and industry consolidation; the challenges and costs of integrating operations and realizing anticipated synergies and other benefits of the merger transaction with US Airways Group, Inc.; the Company's substantial indebtedness and other obligations and the effect they could have on the Company's business and liquidity; an inability to obtain sufficient financing or other capital to operate successfully and in accordance with the Company's current business plan; increased costs of financing, a reduction in the availability of financing and fluctuations in interest rates; the effect the Company's high level of fixed obligations may have on its ability to fund general corporate requirements, obtain additional financing and respond to competitive developments and adverse economic and industry conditions; the Company's significant pension and other post-employment benefit funding obligations; the impact of any failure to comply with the covenants contained in financing arrangements; provisions in credit card processing and other commercial agreements that may materially reduce the Company's liquidity; the limitations of the Company's historical consolidated financial information, which is not directly comparable to its financial information for prior or future periods; the impact of union disputes, employee strikes and other labor-related disruptions; any inability to maintain labor costs at competitive levels; interruptions or disruptions in service at one or more of the Company's hub airports; any inability to obtain and maintain adequate facilities, infrastructure and slots to operate the Company's flight schedule and expand or change its route network; the Company's reliance on third-party regional operators or third-party service providers that have the ability to affect the Company's revenue and the public's perception about its services; any inability to effectively manage the costs, rights and functionality of third-party distribution channels on which the Company relies; extensive government regulation, which may result in increases in the Company's costs, disruptions to the Company's operations, limits on the Company's operating flexibility, reductions in the demand for air travel, and competitive disadvantages; the impact of the heavy taxation to which the airline industry is subject; changes to the Company's business model that may not successfully increase revenues and may cause operational difficulties or decreased demand; the loss of key personnel or inability to attract and retain additional qualified personnel; the impact of conflicts overseas, terrorist attacks and ongoing security concerns; the global scope of the Company's business and any associated economic and political instability or adverse effects of events, circumstances or government actions beyond its control, including the impact of foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations and limitations on the repatriation of cash held in foreign countries; the impact of environmental regulation; the Company's reliance on technology and automated systems and the impact of any failure of these technologies or systems; challenges in integrating the Company's computer, communications and other technology systems; costs of ongoing data security compliance requirements and the impact of any significant data security breach; losses and adverse publicity stemming from any accident involving any of the Company's aircraft or the aircraft of its regional or codeshare operators; delays in scheduled aircraft deliveries, or other loss of anticipated fleet capacity, and failure of new aircraft to perform as expected; the Company's dependence on a limited number of suppliers for aircraft, aircraft engines and parts; the impact of changing economic and other conditions beyond the Company's control, including global events that affect travel behavior such as an outbreak of a contagious disease, and volatility and fluctuations in the Company's results of operations due to seasonality; the effect of a higher than normal number of pilot retirements and a potential shortage of pilots; the impact of possible future increases in insurance costs or reductions in available insurance coverage; the effect of several lawsuits that were filed in connection with the merger transaction with US Airways Group, Inc. and remain pending; an inability to use NOL carryforwards; any impairment in the amount of goodwill the Company recorded as a result of the application of the acquisition method of accounting and an inability to realize the full value of the Company's and American Airlines' respective intangible or long-lived assets and any material impairment charges that would be recorded as a result; price volatility of the Company's common stock; delay or prevention of stockholders' ability to change the composition of the Company's board of directors and the effect this may have on takeover attempts that some of the Company's stockholders might consider beneficial; the effect of provisions of the Company's Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws that limit ownership and voting of its equity interests, including its common stock, its preferred stock and convertible notes; the effect of limitations in the Company's Certificate of Incorporation on acquisitions and dispositions of its common stock designed to protect its NOL carryforwards and certain other tax attributes, which may limit the liquidity of its common stock; and other economic, business, competitive, and/or regulatory factors affecting the Company's business, including those set forth in the Company's quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the period ending June 30, 2014 'especially in the 'Risk Factors' and 'Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations' sections' and other risks and uncertainties listed from time to time in our filings with the SEC. Any forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof or as of the dates indicated in the statements. The Company does not assume any obligation to publicly update or supplement any forward-looking statement to reflect actual results, changes in assumptions or changes in other factors affecting these forward-looking statements except as required by law.

American Airlines Group Inc. (Formerly AMR Corporation) GAAP Results - Consolidated Statements of Operations

Reflects AAG Standalone Results for Period Prior to Merger Close See Full Press Release at:

http://hub.aa.com/en/nr/pressrelease/american-airlines-group-reports-highest-quarterly-profit-in-company-history


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Source: ENP Newswire


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