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United Airlines Reports Full-Year and Fourth-Quarter 2018 Performance

United Airlines Reports Full-Year and Fourth-Quarter 2018 Performance

In a departure from industry trends, United (UAL) announced today that its fourth-quarter unit revenue came in at the high end of its guidance range and also exceeded its full-year adjusted diluted earnings per share target laid out last January. UAL reported full-year net income of $2.1 billion, diluted earnings per share of $7.70 (a 9.1 percent increase year-over-year), pre-tax earnings of $2.7 billion and pre-tax margin of 6.4 percent. UAL reported adjusted full-year net income of $2.5 billion, adjusted pre-tax earnings of $3.2 billion and adjusted pre-tax margin of 7.7 percent.1 UAL increased its full-year 2018 adjusted diluted earnings per share outlook three times during the year despite a $2.4 billion year-over-year headwind from fuel. Full-year adjusted diluted earnings per share increased 33.5 percent year-over-year to $9.13, above the high end of the company's most recent guidance range.1

"United's financial performance is a testament to the successful implementation of the first year of our strategic plan and to the record-setting operational performance powered by the more than 90,000 airline professionals who work at United," said Oscar Munoz, chief executive officer of United Airlines. "United delivered proof, not just promises in 2018 - even in the face of significant headwinds from higher than expected fuel costs. It's why I couldn't be more proud of our winning culture and customer-focused team and continue to be enthusiastic about United's bright future."

For 2019, UAL expects adjusted diluted earnings per share to again grow year-over-year to between $10.00 to $12.00.2

  • UAL reported fourth-quarter net income of $462 million, diluted earnings per share of $1.70, pre-tax earnings of $556 million and pre-tax margin of 5.3 percent.
  • UAL reported fourth-quarter adjusted net income of $657 million, adjusted diluted earnings per share of $2.41 and adjusted pre-tax earnings of $814 million.
  • UAL reported fourth-quarter adjusted pre-tax margin of 7.8 percent,1 expanding margin on an adjusted basis of 0.9 points versus the fourth-quarter of 2017.
  • UAL recovered 98% percent of the year-over-year increase in fuel prices in 2018.
  • Consolidated fourth-quarter passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) increased 5 percent year-over-year, at the high end of the company's fourth-quarter 2018 guidance range.
  • Consolidated fourth-quarter unit cost per available seat mile (CASM) increased 7.0 percent year-over-year.
  • Consolidated fourth-quarter CASM, excluding special charges, third-party business expenses, fuel and profit sharing, decreased 0.7 percent year-over-year.
  • Employees earned $334 million in profit sharing for 2018.

For more information on UAL's first-quarter and full-year 2019 guidance, please visit ir.united.com for the company's investor update.

2018 Highlights

Record-Setting Operational Performance3

  • Set new UAL records by flying the most revenue passengers ever, operating the most mainline departures and achieving the fewest cancellations ever in a year, resulting in more UAL customers departing on-time in 2018 than ever before.
  • For the year, achieved the best completion rate in company history with more than 1.7 million flights.
  • In 2018, achieved the best ever company STAR performance (first departures of the day), with nearly 250,000 flights leaving on time.
  • In the fourth quarter, the company achieved top-tier performance in on-time departures among its largest competitors. For the December holiday season, UAL had its best-ever on-time departure performance while flying the most revenue customers it had ever flown during the holiday period.

Customer Experience

  • Opened three new United Polaris lounges located in San Francisco International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport and Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport.
  • Announced UAL's newest premium seating, United® Premium Plus, which will provide more space, comfort and amenities on select international flights starting later this year.
  • Introduced a new boarding process designed to reduce customers' stress by reducing time spent waiting in line and providing them with improved boarding information.
  • Expanded personal device entertainment option to all aircraft, providing at least one free entertainment option on all Wi-Fi equipped aircraft.
  • MileagePlus loyalty program voted Best Overall Frequent-Flyer Program in the world for the 15th consecutive year by readers of Global Traveler, and voted Favorite Frequent-Flyer Program in the Trazee Awards.

Employees

  • Employees earned incentive payments totaling approximately $14 million for achieving operational performance goals in the quarter, marking a full year of earned incentive payments totaling $55 million.
  • Introduced and trained over 90,000 team members on UAL's new customer service decision framework, the core4, which focuses on the principles of safe, caring, dependable and efficient.
  • Deployed 6,000 iPads to maintenance employees, improving reliability and efficiency.
  • Unveiled a state-of-the-art flight training center in Denver, Colorado - the largest in the world and home to the company's more than 30 full flight simulators representing all of UAL's fleet types.
  • Successfully completed the full implementation of the flight attendant joint collective bargaining agreement, allowing the company to operate more efficiently and reliably.
  • Achieved the top score of 100 percent on the 2018 Disability Equality Index (DEI), a prominent benchmarking metric that rates U.S. companies on their disability inclusion policies and practices, also earning UAL a place on DEI's 2018 "Best Places to Work" list.
  • Received "Best-of-the-Best" Award from the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce and National Business Inclusion Consortium for commitment to diversity and inclusion across all communities.

Network

  • Introduced 93 new routes, adding more flights in 2018 than any other U.S. airline.
  • Announced new international service including Washington-Dulles to Tel Aviv, IsraelSan Francisco to Amsterdam, NetherlandsNewark/New York to Naples, Italy; as well as Newark/New York to Prague, Czech Republic and Denver to Frankfurt, Germany, all subject to government approval.
  • Launched several exciting new international routes including Houston to SydneySan Francisco to Tahiti and Denver to London.
  • Announced schedule expansion at East Coast hubs in Newark/New York and Washington-Dulles to offer more nonstop flights to destinations popular with New York-area customers while reallocating largely connecting passenger flights to Washington-Dulles.
  • Announced a joint business agreement with Compañía Panameña de Aviación S.A. (Copa), Aerovías del Continente Americano S.A. (Avianca) and many of Avianca's affiliates, pending government approval.

Fleet

  • Took delivery of 21 new Boeing aircraft, including four 777-300ER, four 787-9, three 787-10 and ten 737 MAX 9 aircraft.
  • In December 2018, ordered an additional four Boeing 777-300ER aircraft and 24 737 MAX aircraft.

Community and Environment

  • Pledged to reduce the company's greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2050, the only U.S. airline to commit to emissions reductions, further strengthening UAL's ambition to be the world's most environmentally conscious airline.
  • Announced a total of $8 million in grants to benefit organizations in each of UAL's domestic hub communities.
  • Announced new global partnership with the Special Olympics and flew hundreds of Team USA Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games 2018 athletes, coaches and family members to PyeongChang, South Korea, continuing the 38-year relationship between UAL and the United States Olympic Committee.
  • Ranked No. 1 among global carriers in Newsweek's 2017 Global 500 Green Rankings, one of the most recognized environmental performance assessments of the world's largest publicly traded companies.
  • Launched a Crowdrise fundraising campaign to support those affected by Hurricane Florence, Typhoon Mangkhut, flooding in Western Japan, wildfires in California and other disasters.

Earnings Call

UAL will hold a conference call to discuss its fourth-quarter and full-year 2018 financial results and its financial and operational outlook for the first quarter and full year of 2019 on Wednesday, January 16, at 9:30 a.m. Central time /10:30 a.m. Eastern time. A live, listen-only webcast of the conference call will be available at ir.united.com. The webcast will be available for replay within 24 hours of the conference call and then archived on the website for three months.

On January 1, 2018, United Continental Holdings, Inc. ("UAL") adopted Accounting Standards Update No. 2014-09 (Topic 606), Revenue from Contracts with Customers, and Accounting Standards Update No. 2017-07, Improving the Presentation of Net Periodic Pension Cost and Net Periodic Postretirement Benefit Cost. As such, certain previously reported 2017 figures are adjusted in this report on a basis consistent with the new standards. See the Current Report on Form 8-K filed by UAL with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 1, 2018 for additional information.

UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS, INC.

STATEMENTS OF CONSOLIDATED OPERATIONS (UNAUDITED)

 
   

Three Months Ended

December 31,

 

%

   

Full Year Ended

December 31,

 

%

 

(In millions, except per share data)

 

2018

 

2017

 

Increase/
Decrease)

   

2018

 

2017

 

Increase/
Decrease)

Operating revenue:

                           

Passenger

 

$

9,556

   

$

8,587

   

11.3

     

$

37,706

   

$

34,460

   

9.4

   

Cargo

 

334

   

324

   

3.1

     

1,237

   

1,114

   

11.0

   

Other operating revenue

 

601

   

540

   

11.3

     

2,360

   

2,210

   

6.8

   

Total operating revenue

 

10,491

   

9,451

   

11.0

     

41,303

   

37,784

   

9.3

   
                             

Operating expense:

                           

Salaries and related costs

 

2,924

   

2,678

   

9.2

     

11,458

   

10,941

   

4.7

   

Aircraft fuel

 

2,380

   

1,875

   

26.9

     

9,307

   

6,913

   

34.6

   

Regional capacity purchase

 

638

   

580

   

10.0

     

2,601

   

2,232

   

16.5

   

Landing fees and other rent

 

602

   

570

   

5.6

     

2,359

   

2,240

   

5.3

   

Depreciation and amortization

 

578

   

539

   

7.2

     

2,240

   

2,149

   

4.2

   

Aircraft maintenance materials and outside repairs

 

434

   

479

   

(9.4)

     

1,767

   

1,856

   

(4.8)

   

Distribution expenses

 

396

   

354

   

11.9

     

1,558

   

1,435

   

8.6

   

Aircraft rent

 

78

   

145

   

(46.2)

     

433

   

621

   

(30.3)

   

Special charges (B)

 

301

   

31

   

NM

     

487

   

176

   

NM

   

Other operating expenses

 

1,508

   

1,424

   

5.9

     

5,801

   

5,550

   

4.5

   

Total operating expense

 

9,839

   

8,675

   

13.4

     

38,011

   

34,113

   

11.4

   
                             

Operating income

 

652

   

776

   

(16.0)

     

3,292

   

3,671

   

(10.3)

   
                             

Operating margin

 

6.2

%

 

8.2

%

 

(2.0)

 

pts.

 

8.0

%

 

9.7

%

 

(1.7)

 

pts.

Adjusted operating margin (Non-GAAP) (A)

 

9.1

%

 

8.5

%

 

0.6

 

pts.

 

9.1

%

 

10.2

%

 

(1.1)

 

pts.

                             

Nonoperating income (expense):

                           

Interest expense

 

(189)

   

(173)

   

9.2

     

(729)

   

(671)

   

8.6

   

Interest capitalized

 

19

   

20

   

(5.0)

     

70

   

84

   

(16.7)

   

Interest income

 

31

   

16

   

93.8

     

101

   

57

   

77.2

   

Miscellaneous, net (B)

 

43

   

(19)

   

NM

     

(76)

   

(101)

   

(24.8)

   

Total nonoperating expense

 

(96)

   

(156)

   

(38.5)

     

(634)

   

(631)

   

0.5

   
                             

Income before income taxes

 

556

   

620

   

(10.3)

     

2,658

   

3,040

   

(12.6)

   
                             

Pre-tax margin

 

5.3

%

 

6.6

%

 

(1.3)

 

pts.

 

6.4

%

 

8.0

%

 

(1.6)

 

pts.

Adjusted pre-tax margin (Non-GAAP) (A)

 

7.8

%

 

6.9

%

 

0.9

 

pts.

 

7.7

%

 

8.5

%

 

(0.8)

 

pts.

                             

Income tax expense (D)

 

94

   

41

   

129.3

     

529

   

896

   

(41.0)

   

Net income

 

$

462

   

$

579

   

(20.2)

     

$

2,129

   

$

2,144

   

(0.7)

   
                             

Diluted earnings per share

 

$

1.70

   

$

1.98

   

(14.1)

     

$

7.70

   

$

7.06

   

9.1

   

Diluted weighted average shares

 

272.7

   

291.8

   

(6.5)

     

276.7

   

303.6

   

(8.9)

   
 

NM Not meaningful

 

UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS, INC.

SELECT PASSENGER REVENUE INFORMATION AND STATISTICS

 

Select passenger revenue information is as follows:

 
   

4Q 2018

Passenger

Revenue

(millions)

 

Passenger

Revenue

vs.

4Q 2017

 

PRASM

vs.

4Q 2017

 

Yield

vs.

4Q 2017

 

Available

Seat Miles

vs.

4Q 2017

Domestic

 

6,088

   

12.8%

 

6.0%

 

6.7%

 

6.4%

                     

Atlantic

 

1,535

   

9.6%

 

1.6%

 

(5.0%)

 

8.0%

Pacific

 

1,139

   

8.8%

 

4.5%

 

3.2%

 

4.0%

Latin America

 

794

   

7.2%

 

3.8%

 

1.1%

 

3.1%

International

 

3,468

   

8.8%

 

3.2%

 

(0.5%)

 

5.4%

                     

Consolidated

 

$

9,556

   

11.3%

 

5.0%

 

3.8%

 

6.0%

 

Select statistics are as follows:

 
   

Three Months Ended

December 31,

 

%

Increase/

(Decrease)

   

Full Year Ended

December 31,

 

%

Increase/

(Decrease)

 
   

2018

 

2017

       

2018

 

2017

     

Passengers (thousands)

 

39,891

   

37,413

   

6.6

     

158,330

   

148,067

   

6.9

   

Revenue passenger miles (millions)

 

56,968

   

53,149

   

7.2

     

230,155

   

216,261

   

6.4

   

Available seat miles (millions)

 

68,902

   

65,028

   

6.0

     

275,262

   

262,386

   

4.9

   

Passenger load factor:

                           

Consolidated

 

82.7

%

 

81.7

%

 

1.0

 

pt.

 

83.6

%

 

82.4

%

 

1.2

 

pts.

Domestic

 

84.6

%

 

85.2

%

 

(0.6)

 

pts.

 

85.4

%

 

85.2

%

 

0.2

 

pts.

International

 

80.1

%

 

77.2

%

 

2.9

 

pts.

 

81.3

%

 

78.9

%

 

2.4

 

pts.

Passenger revenue per available seat mile (cents)

 

13.87

   

13.21

   

5.0

     

13.70

   

13.13

   

4.3

   

Total revenue per available seat mile (cents)

 

15.23

   

14.53

   

4.8

     

15.00

   

14.40

   

4.2

   

Average yield per revenue passenger mile (cents)

 

16.77

   

16.16

   

3.8

     

16.38

   

15.93

   

2.8

   

Aircraft in fleet at end of period

 

1,329

   

1,262

   

5.3

     

1,329

   

1,262

   

5.3

   

Average stage length (miles)

 

1,426

   

1,431

   

(0.3)

     

1,446

   

1,460

   

(1.0)

   

Average full-time equivalent employees (thousands)

 

87.3

   

85.6

   

2.0

     

86.6

   

86.0

   

0.7

   

Average aircraft fuel price per gallon

 

$

2.30

   

$

1.91

   

20.4

     

$

2.25

   

$

1.74

   

29.3

   

Fuel gallons consumed (millions)

 

1,036

   

980

   

5.7

     

4,137

   

3,978

   

4.0

   
 

Note: See Part II, Item 6, Selected Financial Data, of UAL's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, for definitions of these statistics.       

 

UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS, INC.

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS (UNAUDITED)

 

 (In millions)

December 31, 2018

 

December 31, 2017

ASSETS

     

Current assets:

     

Cash and cash equivalents

$

1,694

   

$

1,482

 

Short-term investments

2,256

   

2,316

 

Receivables, net

1,346

   

1,340

 

Aircraft fuel, spare parts and supplies, net

985

   

924

 

Prepaid expenses and other

913

   

1,071

 

Total current assets

7,194

   

7,133

 
       

Total operating property and equipment, net

28,329

   

26,208

 
       

Other assets:

     

Goodwill

4,523

   

4,523

 

Intangibles, net

3,159

   

3,539

 

Restricted cash

105

   

91

 

Loans to others, net

496

   

46

 

Investments in affiliates and other, net

966

   

806

 

Total other assets

9,249

   

9,005

 

Total assets

$

44,772

   

$

42,346

 
       

LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY

     

Current liabilities:

     

Advance ticket sales

$

4,381

   

$

3,940

 

Accounts payable

2,363

   

2,196

 

Frequent flyer deferred revenue

2,286

   

2,192

 

Accrued salaries and benefits

2,184

   

2,166

 

Current maturities of long-term debt and capital leases

1,379

   

1,693

 

Other

600

   

576

 

Total current liabilities

13,193

   

12,763

 
       

Other liabilities and deferred credits:

     

Long-term debt and capital leases

13,349

   

12,699

 

Frequent flyer deferred revenue

2,719

   

2,591

 

Postretirement benefit liability

1,295

   

1,602

 

Pension liability

1,576

   

1,921

 

Deferred income taxes

814

   

204

 

Other

1,831

   

1,832

 

Total other liabilities and deferred credits

21,584

   

20,849

 
       

Commitments and contingencies

     
       

Stockholders' equity

9,995

   

8,734

 

Total liabilities and stockholders' equity

$

44,772

   

$

42,346

 

 

UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS, INC.

CONDENSED STATEMENTS OF CONSOLIDATED CASH FLOWS (UNAUDITED)

 

 (In millions)

Full Year Ended
December 31,

 

2018

 

2017

Cash Flows from Operating Activities:

     

Net cash provided by operating activities

$

6,181

   

$

3,413

 
       

Cash Flows from Investing Activities:

     

Capital expenditures

(4,177)

   

(3,998)

 

Purchases of short-term and other investments

(2,552)

   

(3,241)

 

Proceeds from sale of short-term and other investments

2,616

   

3,177

 

Loans made to others

(456)

   

 

Investment in affiliates

(139)

   

 

Other, net

145

   

132

 

Net cash used in investing activities

(4,563)

   

(3,930)

 
       

Cash Flows from Financing Activities:

     

Proceeds from issuance of long-term debt and airport construction financing

1,740

   

2,765

 

Repurchases of common stock

(1,235)

   

(1,844)

 

Payments of long-term debt

(1,727)

   

(901)

 

Principal payments under capital leases

(134)

   

(124)

 

Other, net

(54)

   

(91)

 

Net cash used in financing activities

(1,410)

   

(195)

 

Net increase (decrease) in cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash

208

   

(712)

 

Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash at beginning of the year

1,591

   

2,303

 

Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash at end of the year (a)

$

1,799

   

$

1,591

 
       

Investing and Financing Activities Not Affecting Cash:

     

Property and equipment acquired through the issuance of debt and capital leases

$

174

   

$

935

 

Debt associated with termination of a maintenance service agreement

163

   

 

Equity interest in Republic Airways Holdings, Inc. received in consideration for bankruptcy claims

   

92

 

Airport construction financing

12

   

42

 

Operating lease conversions to capital lease

52

   

 
 

(a) The following table provides a reconciliation of cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash to amounts reported within the consolidated balance sheet:

 

Reconciliation of cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash:

     

Current assets:

     

Cash and cash equivalents

$

1,694

   

$

1,482

 

Restricted cash included in Prepaid expenses and other

   

18

 

Other assets:

     

Restricted cash

105

   

91

 

Total cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash

$

1,799

   

$

1,591

 

 

UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS, INC.

RETURN ON INVESTED CAPITAL (ROIC) - Non-GAAP

 

ROIC is a non-GAAP financial measure that UAL believes provides useful supplemental information for management and investors by measuring the effectiveness of the company's operations' use of invested capital to generate profits.

 

(in millions)

Twelve Months Ended

December 31, 2018

Net Operating Profit After Tax ("NOPAT")

 

Pre-tax income

$

2,658

 

Special charges and MTM losses on financial instruments (B):

 

  Impairment of assets

377

 

  Termination of a maintenance service agreement

64

 

  Severance and benefit costs

41

 

  MTM losses on financial instruments

5

 

  (Gains) losses on sale of assets and other special charges

5

 

Pre-tax income excluding special charges and MTM losses on financial instruments (Non-GAAP)

3,150

 

add: Interest expense (net of income tax benefit) (a)

725

 

add: Interest component of capitalized aircraft rent (net of income tax benefit) (a)

211

 

add: Net interest on pension (net of income tax benefit) (a)

(16)

 

less: Income taxes paid

(19)

 

NOPAT (Non-GAAP)

$

4,051

 
   
   

Average Invested Capital (five-quarter average)

 

Total assets

$

44,133

 

add: Capitalized aircraft operating leases (b)

3,723

 

less: Non-interest bearing liabilities (c)

(17,224)

 

Average invested capital (Non-GAAP)

$

30,632

 
   

ROIC (Non-GAAP)

13.2

%

   
   

(a)

Income tax benefit measured based on the effective cash tax rate. The effective cash tax rate is calculated by dividing cash taxes paid by pre-tax income excluding special charges. For the twelve months ended December 31, 2018, the effective cash tax rate was 0.6%.

(b)

The purpose of this adjustment is to capitalize the impact of aircraft operating leases. The company uses a multiple of seven times its annual aircraft rent expense to estimate the potential capitalized value and related liability of its aircraft. This is a simplified method used by many rating agencies and financial analysts to assess the impact of operating leases on financial measures like return on invested capital.

(c)

Non-interest bearing liabilities include advance ticket sales, frequent flyer deferred revenue, deferred income taxes and other non-interest bearing liabilities.

 

UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS, INC.

NON-GAAP FINANCIAL RECONCILIATION

 

(A)  UAL evaluates its financial performance utilizing various accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (GAAP) and Non-GAAP financial measures, including adjusted operating income (loss), adjusted operating margin, adjusted pre-tax income (loss), adjusted pre-tax margin, adjusted net income (loss), adjusted diluted earnings (loss) per share and CASM, excluding special charges, third-party business expenses, fuel, and profit sharing, among others. UAL believes that adjusting for special charges is useful to investors because special charges are not indicative of UAL's ongoing performance. UAL believes that adjusting for MTM gains and losses on financial instruments is useful to investors because those unrealized gains or losses may not ultimately be realized on a cash basis. UAL believes that adjusting for interest expense related to capital leases of Embraer ERJ 145 aircraft is useful to investors because of the accelerated recognition of interest expense.

 

CASM is a common metric used in the airline industry to measure an airline's cost structure and efficiency. UAL reports CASM excluding special charges, third-party business expenses, fuel and profit sharing. UAL believes that adjusting for special charges is useful to investors because special charges are not indicative of UAL's ongoing performance. UAL also believes that excluding third-party business expenses, such as maintenance, ground handling and catering services for third parties and fuel sales, provides more meaningful disclosure because these expenses are not directly related to UAL's core business. UAL also believes that excluding fuel costs from certain measures is useful to investors because it provides an additional measure of management's performance excluding the effects of a significant cost item over which management has limited influence. UAL excludes profit sharing because this exclusion allows investors to better understand and analyze our operating cost performance and provides a more meaningful comparison of our core operating costs to the airline industry.

 

Reconciliations of reported non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measures are included below.  

 
   

Three Months Ended

December 31,

 

%
Increase/

 

Full Year Ended

December 31,

 

%
Increase/

   

2018

 

2017

 

(Decrease)

 

2018

 

2017

 

(Decrease)

CASM (cents)

                       

Cost per available seat mile (CASM) (GAAP)

 

14.28

   

13.34

   

7.0

   

13.81

   

13.00

   

6.2

 

Special charges (B)

 

0.44

   

0.04

   

NM

   

0.18

   

0.07

   

NM

 

Third-party business expenses

 

0.04

   

0.06

   

(33.3)

   

0.04

   

0.05

   

(20.0)

 

Fuel expense

 

3.46

   

2.88

   

20.1

   

3.38

   

2.64

   

28.0

 

Profit sharing, including taxes

 

0.12

   

0.07

   

71.4

   

0.12

   

0.13

   

(7.7)

 

CASM, excluding special charges, third-party business expenses, fuel, and profit sharing (Non-GAAP)

 

10.22

   

10.29

   

(0.7)

   

10.09

   

10.11

   

(0.2)

 
 

NM Not Meaningful

 

UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS, INC.

NON-GAAP FINANCIAL RECONCILIATION (Continued)

 
   

Three Months Ended

December 31,

 

$

Increase/

 

%

Increase/

 

Full Year Ended

December 31,

 

$

Increase/

 

%

Increase/

(in millions)

 

2018

 

2017

 

(Decrease)

 

(Decrease)

 

2018

 

2017

 

(Decrease)

 

(Decrease)

Operating expenses (GAAP)

 

$

9,839

   

$

8,675

   

$

1,164

   

13.4

   

$

38,011

   

$

34,113

   

$

3,898

   

11.4

 

Special charges (B)

 

301

   

31

   

270

   

NM

   

487

   

176

   

311

   

NM

 

Operating expenses, excluding special charges

 

9,538

   

8,644

   

894

   

10.3

   

37,524

   

33,937

   

3,587

   

10.6

 

Adjusted to exclude:

                               

Third-party business expenses

 

32

   

31

   

1

   

3.2

   

121

   

145

   

(24)

   

(16.6)

 

Fuel expense

 

2,380

   

1,875

   

505

   

26.9

   

9,307

   

6,913

   

2,394

   

34.6

 

Profit sharing, including taxes

 

82

   

45

   

37

   

82.2

   

334

   

349

   

(15)

   

(4.3)

 

Adjusted operating expenses (Non-GAAP)

 

$

7,044

   

$

6,693

   

$

351

   

5.2

   

$

27,762

   

$

26,530

   

$

1,232

   

4.6

 
                                 

Operating income (GAAP)

 

$

652

   

$

776

   

$

(124)

   

(16.0)

   

$

3,292

   

$

3,671

   

$

(379)

   

(10.3)

 

Adjusted to exclude:

                               

Special charges (B)

 

301

   

31

   

270

   

NM

   

487

   

176

   

311

   

NM

 

Adjusted operating income (Non-GAAP)

 

$

953

   

$

807

   

$

146

   

18.1

   

$

3,779

   

$

3,847

   

$

(68)

   

(1.8)

 
                                 

Pre-tax income (GAAP)

 

$

556

   

$

620

   

$

(64)

   

(10.3)

   

$

2,658

   

$

3,040

   

$

(382)

   

(12.6)

 

Adjusted to exclude:

                               

Special charges (B)

 

301

   

31

   

270

   

NM

   

487

   

176

   

311

   

NM

 

MTM (gains) losses on financial instruments (B)

 

(56)

   

   

(56)

   

NM

   

5

   

   

5

   

NM

 

Interest expense on ERJ 145 capital leases (C)

 

13

   

   

13

   

NM

   

26

   

   

26

   

NM

 

Adjusted pre-tax income (Non-GAAP)

 

$

814

   

$

651

   

$

163

   

25.0

   

$

3,176

   

$

3,216

   

$

(40)

   

(1.2)

 
                                 

Net income (GAAP)

 

$

462

   

$

579

   

$

(117)

   

(20.2)

   

$

2,129

   

$

2,144

   

$

(15.0)

   

(0.7)

 

Adjusted to exclude:

                               

Special charges (B)

 

301

   

31

   

270

   

NM

   

487

   

176

   

311

   

NM

 

MTM (gains) losses on financial instruments (B)

 

(56)

   

   

(56)

   

NM

   

5

   

   

5

   

NM

 

Interest expense on ERJ 145 capital leases (C)

 

13

   

   

13

   

NM

   

26

   

   

26

   

NM

 

Income tax benefit related to adjustments above

 

(58)

   

(11)

   

(47)

   

NM

   

(116)

   

(63)

   

(53)

   

NM

 

Special income tax adjustments (D)

 

(5)

   

(179)

   

174

   

NM

   

(5)

   

(179)

   

174

   

NM

 

Adjusted net income (Non-GAAP)

 

$

657

   

$

420

   

$

237

   

56.4

   

$

2,526

   

$

2,078

   

$

448

   

21.6

 
                                 

Diluted earnings per share (GAAP)

 

$

1.70

   

$

1.98

   

$

(0.28)

   

(14.1)

   

$

7.70

   

$

7.06

   

$

0.64

   

9.1

 

Adjusted to exclude:

                               

Special charges (B)

 

1.10

   

0.11

   

0.99

   

NM

   

1.76

   

0.58

   

1.18

   

NM

 

MTM (gains) losses on financial instruments (B)

 

(0.21)

   

   

(0.21)

   

NM

   

0.02

   

   

0.02

   

NM

 

Interest expense on ERJ 145 capital leases (C)

 

0.05

   

   

0.05

   

NM

   

0.09

   

   

0.09

   

NM

 

Income tax benefit related to adjustments

 

(0.21)

   

(0.04)

   

(0.17)

   

NM

   

(0.42)

   

(0.21)

   

(0.21)

   

NM

 

Special income tax adjustments (D)

 

(0.02)

   

(0.61)

   

0.59

   

NM

   

(0.02)

   

(0.59)

   

0.57

   

NM

 

Adjusted diluted earnings per share (Non-GAAP)

 

$

2.41

   

$

1.44

   

$

0.97

   

67.4

   

$

9.13

   

$

6.84

   

$

2.29

   

33.5

 
 

NM Not Meaningful

 

UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS, INC.

NON-GAAP FINANCIAL RECONCILIATION (Continued)

 

UAL believes that adjusting capital expenditures for assets acquired through the issuance of debt and capital leases, airport construction financing and excluding fully reimbursable projects is useful to investors in order to appropriately reflect the non-reimbursable funds spent on capital expenditures. UAL also believes that adjusting net cash provided by operating activities for capital expenditures and adjusted capital expenditures is useful to allow investors to evaluate the company's ability to generate cash that is available for debt service or general corporate initiatives.

 
   

Three Months Ended

December 31,

 

Full Year Ended

December 31,

Capital Expenditures (in millions)

 

2018

 

2017

 

2018

 

2017

Capital expenditures (GAAP)

 

$

1,585

   

$

1,098

   

$

4,177

   

$

3,998

 

Property and equipment acquired through the issuance of debt and capital leases

 

35

   

17

   

174

   

935

 

Airport construction financing

 

   

1

   

12

   

42

 

Fully reimbursable projects

 

(36)

   

(70)

   

(176)

   

(246)

 

Adjusted capital expenditures (Non-GAAP)

 

$

1,584

   

$

1,046

   

$

4,187

   

$

4,729

 
                 

Free Cash Flow (in millions)

               

Net cash provided by operating activities (GAAP)

 

$

1,101

   

$

728

   

$

6,181

   

$

3,413

 

Less capital expenditures

 

1,585

   

1,098

   

4,177

   

3,998

 

Free cash flow, net of financings (Non-GAAP)

 

$

(484)

   

$

(370)

   

$

2,004

   

$

(585)

 
                 

Net cash provided by operating activities (GAAP)

 

$

1,101

   

$

728

   

$

6,181

   

$

3,413

 

Less adjusted capital expenditures (Non-GAAP)

 

1,584

   

1,046

   

4,187

   

4,729

 

Free cash flow (Non-GAAP)

 

$

(483)

   

$

(318)

   

$

1,994

   

$

(1,316)

 

 

UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS, INC.

NOTES (UNAUDITED)

 

(B)     Special charges and MTM gains and losses on financial instruments include the following:

 
   

Three Months Ended

December 31,

 

Full Year Ended

December 31,

(In millions)

 

2018

 

2017

 

2018

 

2017

Operating:

               

Impairment of assets

 

$

232

   

$

10

   

$

377

   

$

25

 

Termination of an engine maintenance service agreement

 

64

   

   

64

   

 

Severance and benefit costs

 

7

   

15

   

41

   

116

 

(Gains) losses on sale of assets and other special charges

 

(2)

   

6

   

5

   

35

 

     Total special charges

 

301

   

31

   

487

   

176

 

Nonoperating MTM (gains) losses on financial instruments

 

(56)

   

   

5

   

 

Total special charges and MTM (gains) losses on financial instruments

 

245

   

31

   

492

   

176

 

Income tax benefit related to special charges

 

(68)

   

(11)

   

(109)

   

(63)

 

Income tax expense (benefit) related to MTM gains and losses on financial instruments

 

13

   

   

(1)

   

 

Income tax adjustments (D)

 

(5)

   

(179)

   

(5)

   

(179)

 

Total special charges and MTM (gains) losses on financial instruments, net of income taxes

 

$

185

   

$

(159)

   

$

377

   

$

(66)

 
 

Impairment of assets:

 

Routes: The company conducted its annual impairment review of intangible assets in the fourth quarter of 2018, which consisted of a comparison of the book value of specific assets to the fair value of those assets calculated using the discounted cash flow method. Due to increased costs without sufficient corresponding increases in revenue in the Hong Kong market, the company determined that the value of its Hong Kong routes had been impaired.  Accordingly, in the fourth quarter of 2018, the company recorded a special non-cash impairment charge of $206 million ($160 million net of taxes) associated with its Hong Kong routes. The collateral pledged under the company's term loan, including the Hong Kong routes, continues to be sufficient to satisfy the loan covenants.

 

In May 2018, the BrazilUnited States open skies agreement was ratified, which provides air carriers with unrestricted access between the United States and Brazil. The company determined that the approval of the open skies agreement impaired the entire value of its Brazil route authorities because the agreement removes all limitations or reciprocity requirements for flights between the United States and Brazil. Accordingly, in the second quarter of 2018, the company recorded a $105 million special charge ($82 million net of taxes) to write off the entire value of the intangible asset associated with its Brazil routes. This asset was not part of any collateral pledged against any of the company's borrowings. The company continues to maintain its slot assets related to Brazil since airport access is still regulated by slot allocations that are limited by airport facility constraints.

 

Other: For the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2018, the company also recorded $26 million ($20 million net of taxes) and $66 million ($51 million net of taxes), respectively, of fair value adjustments related to aircraft purchased off lease, write-off of unexercised aircraft purchase options and other impairments related to certain fleet types and international slots no longer in use.

 

In the fourth quarter of 2017, the company recorded a $10 million ($6 million net of taxes) impairment charge related to obsolete spare parts inventory. During 2017, the company recorded a $15 million ($10 million net of taxes) intangible asset impairment charge related to a maintenance service agreement.

 

Termination of a maintenance service agreement: In the fourth quarter of 2018, the company recorded a one-time termination charge of $64 million ($50 million net of tax) related to one of its engine maintenance service agreements.

 

Severance and benefit costs:  During the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2018, the company recorded severance and benefit costs related to a voluntary early-out program for its technicians and related employees represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters of $3 million ($2 million net of taxes) and $22 million ($17 million net of taxes), respectively. In the first quarter of 2017, approximately 1,000 technicians and related employees elected to voluntarily separate from the company and will receive a severance payment, with a maximum value of $100,000 per participant, based on years of service, with retirement dates through 2018. Also during the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2018, the company recorded other management severance of $4 million ($3 million net of taxes) and $19 million ($15 million net of taxes), respectively.

 

During the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2017, the company recorded $10 million ($6 million net of taxes) and $83 million ($53 million net of taxes), respectively, of severance and benefit costs related to the voluntary early-out program for its technicians and related employees, and $5 million ($3 million net of taxes) and $33 million ($21 million net of taxes), respectively, of management severance.

 

MTM gains and losses on financial instruments:  During the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2018, the company recorded gains of $89 million ($69 million net of taxes) and $28 million ($22 million net of taxes), respectively, for the change in market value of certain of its equity investments. During the fourth quarter of 2018, the company recorded losses of $33 million ($26 million net of taxes) for the change in fair value of certain derivative assets related to equity of Avianca Holdings S.A. For equity investments and derivative assets subject to MTM accounting, the company records gains and losses as part of Nonoperating income (expense): Miscellaneous, net in its statements of consolidated operations.

 
 

(C)    Interest expense related to capital leases of Embraer ERJ 145 aircraft

 

During the third quarter of 2018, United entered into an agreement with the lessor of 54 Embraer ERJ 145 aircraft to purchase those aircraft in 2019. The provisions of the new lease agreement resulted in a change in accounting classification of these new leases from operating leases to capital leases up until the purchase date. The company recognized $13 million ($10 million net of tax) and $26 million ($20 million net of tax) of additional interest expense in the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2018, respectively, as a result of this change.

 

(D)    Effective tax rate

 

The company's effective tax rate for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2018 was 16.9% and 19.9%, respectively, and the effective tax rate for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2017 was 6.6% and 29.5%, respectively. The effective tax rate represents a blend of federal, state and foreign taxes and included the impact of certain nondeductible items. The effective tax rate for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2018 also reflects the reduced federal corporate income tax rate as a result of the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the "Tax Act") in December 2017 and the impact of a change in the company's mix of domestic and foreign earnings.  The rates for the 2018 and 2017 periods were impacted by one-time benefits of $5 million and $179 million, respectively, due to the passage of the Tax Act.

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This press release was sourced from United Airline on 15-Jan-2019.