HOUSTON, Oct. 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/—ExpressJet Holdings, Inc.
(NYSE: XJT) today reported third quarter net income of $21.5 million, an
increase of 80.3 percent over the prior-year period. The net income
represents $0.34 diluted earnings per share.
The company said its improved earnings during the quarter resulted from a
higher mix of regional jets, excellent operating performance with record-
setting completion factors, cost control and lower interest expense.
“Our financial success in the third quarter was driven by the efforts of
the ExpressJet employees to deliver superior operating performance and manage
costs as we continue to expand our jet fleet,” said ExpressJet President and
Chief Executive Officer Jim Ream.
Third quarter operating revenue increased 7.8 percent to $270.1 million,
compared with $250.6 million in the third quarter of 2001. Capacity grew by
15.0 percent to 1.6 billion available seat miles (ASM) compared with the same
period last year. The company also achieved a record 99.9 percent
controllable completion factor, which excludes cancellations due to weather
and air traffic control. ExpressJet`s overall completion rate for the quarter
was 98.9 percent, reflecting a favorable operating environment in the quarter.
During the quarter, ExpressJet continued its transition to an all-jet
fleet with the delivery of 12 Embraer regional jets and retirement of
eight ATR-42 turboprops to end the third quarter with an operating fleet of
182 aircraft, including 170 jets. ExpressJet plans to retire the remaining
12 ATR-42 turboprops during the fourth quarter of 2002. By the end of 2002,
ExpressJet will have an all-jet fleet consisting of Embraer ERJ-135s, ERJ-145s
and ERJ-145XRs. ExpressJet will take delivery of the first eight ERJ-145XRs
this month, which it will place into service in November. The ERJ-145XR is
the extended range version of the ERJ-145.
ExpressJet also expanded its operations during the quarter with the
opening of a new station in Des Moines, Iowa, and the launch of nonstop
service between Des Moines and both Houston and New York/Newark. The number
of communities benefiting from ExpressJet`s fleet transition also grew during
the quarter, with the start of all-jet flying at Brownsville and Laredo,
Texas; Baton Rouge, La.; Mobile, Ala.; Jackson, Miss.; and Little Rock, Ark.,
as well as the introduction of the first jet service at Alexandria, La., and
ExpressJet`s third quarter 2002 operating income reflected a 13.8 percent
operating margin, as compared with an operating margin of 10.5 percent for the
third quarter of 2001. The 13.8 percent operating margin included the
benefits of cost savings and $3.7 million in performance incentive payments.
The third quarter operating cost per ASM declined 9.7 percent on an
8.9 percent increase in stage length compared with the same period of the
ExpressJet ended the third quarter with $146.8 million in cash. During
the quarter, the company made a principal payment of $20.0 million on its note
payable to Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL), reducing the outstanding balance
to $375.5 million. For the first nine months of 2002, ExpressJet spent
$21.7 million in capital expenditures (net of sales of fixed assets and parts
related to turboprop retirements) and currently projects cash outlays related
to fleet and non-fleet capital expenditures of approximately $26.8 million for
the remainder of the year.
ExpressJet Holdings will conduct a telephone briefing to discuss its
third quarter results with the financial community today at 2:00 p.m. CDT/
3:00 p.m. EDT. To listen to a live webcast of this briefing, go to