Allegiant Travel Company Second Quarter 2020 Financial Results

posted on 30th July 2020 by Eddie Saunders

Allegiant Travel Company today reported the following financial results for the second quarter 2020, as well as comparisons to the prior year:

“The second quarter proved to be the most turbulent quarter in the history of the industry,” stated Maurice J. Gallagher, Jr., chairman and CEO of Allegiant Travel Company. “As the virus spread throughout the country in March and April, the industry saw an unprecedented plummet in demand, followed by significant capacity cuts, upwards of 80 to 90 percent. As cases subsided, demand began trickling back in, only to begin recessing again with the uptick in cases beginning late June. It appears demand will continue to ebb and flow along with fluctuations in reported cases for the foreseeable future. We have built a unique way to operate our company as compared to the rest of the industry, which will continue to sustain us throughout the duration of these uncertain times.

“We are experts when it comes to managing capacity to meet demand. Our model was built around flexing capacity up and down to meet differing seasonal demand levels. This quarter proved to be the ultimate test of the model, and I believe our second quarter results highlight its inherent strength. Throughout the quarter, we maintained a very broad network and selling presence, cutting capacity when it made sense, but also capturing demand when it returned. We completed the quarter with roughly 50 percent reductions in capacity, maintaining the broadest schedule of any domestic carrier. Load factors were just over 50 percent, a significant step in the right direction from April lows. During the second quarter, Allegiant passengers accounted for more than five percent of all TSA screenings conducted. That is astonishing given our market share. These results are a testament to our ability to not only manage capacity, but also our ability to manage cost, further highlighting we are best equipped to react to these fluctuations in market conditions.

“Although we were able to manage through the chaos of the quarter, arguably better than most, this environment is unsustainable long-term. It continues to be of utmost importance to strengthen liquidity positions. We completed the quarter with an average daily cash burn of $900 thousand, a 57 percent reduction from our initial forecasts. June bookings were a significant contributor to this reduction, with several days in June exceeding prior year booking levels. In fact, June bookings resulted in cash breakeven for the month of June. We continued to remain disciplined in regard to cost savings and successfully cut more than 38 percent of operating expenses from the quarter. These efforts coupled with funds received related to the CARES Act as well as executed financing arrangements enabled us to grow our liquidity position by nearly $200 million to end the quarter with total liquidity of $663.1 million. Unfortunately, the strength seen in June has since weakened as case numbers have risen. I am comfortable the strides made in building liquidity throughout the quarter will act as a safety net as we continue to manage the ever-changing demand environment.

“In conclusion, I would like to thank our 4,000 team members for their continued hard work. These are difficult times, yet our employees continue to go the extra mile to prioritize the health and safety of our passengers by performing additional cleaning procedures on board our aircraft, encouraging social distancing practices, and exemplifying the principles of our Going the Distance for Health and Safety program. Although I believe the effects of this pandemic will linger well into 2021 and possibly beyond, I firmly believe Allegiant’s flexible model and financial strength will not only sustain us during these uncertain times, but will ultimately uniquely position us to recover quickly upon a normalized return of demand.”

Covid-19 Responses – Update

  • Maintain a comprehensive cleaning program for all aircraft that includes a regular schedule of standard and deep-clean procedures that exceed both CDC and Airbus guidance
  • Utilize VOC (volatile organic compound) filters on board every aircraft, which remove additional organic compounds and ensure that cabin air is changed on average, every three minutes, exceeding HEPA standards
  • Continue to encourage social distancing at check-in, while waiting at gates, and throughout the boarding process as well as offer complimentary health and safety kits to each passenger upon boarding the aircraft
  • Treat hard surfaces in all office areas, including airport station offices, maintenance facilities, headquarters/administrative offices, with antimicrobial disinfectant/protectant, and utilize wall-mounted and handheld thermometers for employee and crew member temperature checks
  • Partner with Quest Diagnostics to provide at-home self-collection COVID-19 test kits to employees in the event local testing is not immediately available
  • Effective July 2, require customers and crew members to wear face coverings through all phases of travel, including at the ticket counter, in the gate area, and during flight
  • Offer opt-in option in the booking path for customers to receive notification that their flight has reached 65 percent capacity with option to re-book on another flight with no fee or receive a refund
  • Continue to waive change and cancellation fees for all customers for future travel as well as extend expiry on credit vouchers to two years
    • $80.7 million in cash refunds have been provided year to date
  • Reduced management and support teams by 220 positions, a 20 percent reduction of those work groups
    • Employees will be paid through September 30, 2020, in compliance with the CARES Act

Second Quarter 2020 Results

  • Reported adjusted loss per share of $5.96, which excludes one-time, non-recurring charges, as detailed in the section below titled “COVID-19 Related Special Charges”, the benefit from the CARES Act payroll support program, and a portion of the tax benefit attributable to the CARES Act
  • Completed the quarter with load factor in the month of June of 56.8 percent, up 38 points from April
  • Total revenue for the quarter was $133.3 million, down 72.9 percent year over year
    • Progressive improvement in revenue throughout the quarter with April, May, and June decreases of 95 percent, 75 percent, and 52 percent, respectively
    • Despite yield pressure, average air ancillary revenue per passenger for the quarter was $51.57, remaining consistent with prior year
  • Total operating expense was $246.6 million, down 35.7 percent year over year on reduced capacity of 50.1 percent
    • Total operating expense, excluding one-time, non-recurring charges noted below and excluding the benefit related to CARES Act payroll support, was $240.0 million, down 37.5 percent

Network

  • Reduced second quarter capacity by 50.1 percent
    • Anticipate third quarter capacity reductions to be 25 percent of planned capacity but will adjust in accordance with demand trends
  • Conducted minimal close-in cancellations for the months of June and July to date

COVID-19 Related Special Charges

  • Recognized total special charges related to COVID-19 of $101 million during the second quarter
    • $81.2 million included as an operating expense and $19.8 million included as other non-operating expense
  • $59 million adjustment resulting from the accelerated retirements of seven aircraft, loss on sale leaseback transaction of four A320 series aircraft, and write-off of other aircraft related assets
  • $10 million adjustment for additional salary and benefits expense in relation to the elimination of 220 positions as well as other non-recurring compensation expense associated with the acceleration of certain existing awards
    • Total cash outlay is expected to be only $1.5 million of the $10 million adjustment
  • $5 million impairment loss related to an investment interest held by the company since 2018
  • $2 million write-down on various non-aircraft assets
  • $20 million accrual on the expectation to terminate the loan agreement with Sixth Street Partners (formerly TSSP)  intended to finance the development of Sunseeker Resorts Charlotte Harbor
    • Expected to be paid throughout the remainder of the year
  • $5 million related to suspension of construction at Sunseeker

CARES Act

  • Received $154.7 million of the $171.9 million Payroll Support Program grant in the quarter
    • Remaining $17.2 million to be received in July
    • Received $17.4 million in loan funds (recorded as debt and warrants) related to the $154.7 million received
      • Expense offset recognized during the second quarter related to the grant was $74.5 million
      • Remaining $62.8 million recorded as an accrued liability to be relieved during the third quarter
    • Future expense offset of roughly $75 million to be recognized during the third quarter
  • $45.6 million of federal income tax refunds related to net operating losses from 2018 and 2019 were received in May
    • Additional $48.7 million received during July
  • Expect a federal income tax refund in excess of $125 million related to 2020 net operating losses to be received during the first half of 2021
  • Eligible to receive up to $276 million loan under the CARES Act

Balance Sheet, Cash and Liquidity

  • Total cash and investments at June 30th was $663.1 million 
  • Entered into a sale leaseback transaction on June 23, which included the sale of four A320-series aircraft, generating $48 million
  • Further sources of liquidity received during the third quarter around $65.9 million, including:
    • Federal income tax refund of $48.7 million related to net operating losses from 2018
    • Additional payroll support related to the CARES Act of $17.2 million
  • Federal excise tax refund of $21 million related to net refunds issued during 2020 is expected during the second half of the year
  • Evaluating option to access up to a $276 million loan available through the CARES Act as well as other secured financing options available
  • 2Q20 daily cash burn averaged $900 thousand per day (1)
    • 57 percent reduction from initial expectations of $2.1 million as reported in our first quarter earnings release
    • Gross bookings averaged more than $2.5 million per day during the quarter
  • 3Q20 daily cash burn is expected to be slightly above $1 million assuming gross bookings average roughly $2 million per day
    • Includes a portion of the $20 million accrual related to expectation to terminate the loan agreement with Sixth Street Partners
  • 24 unencumbered aircraft and 10 unencumbered spare engines with approximate market values of $387 million
  • Air traffic liability at June 30th was $355 million
    • Balance related to future scheduled flights is $139 million
    • Balance related to travel vouchers issued for future use is $216 million

(1) Daily cash burn defined as cash from operations less debt and rent payments and capital expenditure outflows excluding aircraft and engine acquisitions as they are expected to be financed. Excludes impact of CARES Act Payroll Support Program funding.

Capital Expenditures

  • Remaining 2020 spend related to capital expenditures is roughly $165 million
    • Includes five previously executed purchase commitments for aircraft during 2020, all of which are intended to be financed
  • Reduced Sunseeker capital expenditures by $300 million for the year
  • Reduced full year heavy maintenance spend by roughly $70 million, compared to initial guidance of $120 million
    • Six planned aircraft retirements within the next ten months and one additional retirement within the next three years
    • Five planned CFM-engine retirements