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Willis Lease Finance Reports Third Quarter Pretax Profit Grew 27% to $8.3 Million

NOVATO, Calif., Nov. 07, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Willis Lease Finance Corporation (NASDAQ:WLFC) today reported that pretax income grew 27% to $8.3 million in the third quarter of 2017, compared to $6.5 million in the third quarter of 2016, on revenues of $65.9 million. The Company’s third quarter 2017 results were bolstered by continued strength in its core leasing business with $33.5 million of lease rent revenue driven by 91% utilization at quarter end. Net income attributable to common shareholders for the third quarter increased 24% to $4.9 million, or $0.80 per diluted share, from $4.0 million, or $0.62 per diluted share, in the third quarter 2016. Earnings in the third quarter include a $7.0 million non-cash write down of equipment and parts.

“In the third quarter, we completed two major financings: the closing of our WEST III ABS offering and a preferred stock offering. WEST III aligns our long-lived assets with long-term, fixed rate capital and our preferred stock offering equitizes our balance sheet for continued growth,” said Charles F. Willis, Chairman and CEO.

“In addition to closing two milestone financings, we were very active trading equipment in the third quarter as we continue to execute our strategy to grow and improve the efficiency of our leasing portfolio,” said Brian R. Hole, President. “Willis Aeronautical also continues to demonstrate its value to our total platform, not only in support of our effort to monetize residual values but also in support of our effort to deliver value-added programs for our customers.”

Third Quarter 2017 Highlights:

  • Total revenue grew 28.0% to $65.9 million in the third quarter of 2017, from $51.5 million in the year ago period.
  • Average utilization in the third quarter of 2017 remained constant at 91% from the year ago period. Utilization was 91% at the end of Q3 2017.
  • Third quarter lease rent revenue was $33.5 million, up 7.0% year-over-year.
  • Maintenance reserve revenue for the nine months ended September 30, 2017 increased 40.9% to $64.2 million compared to $45.6 million in the year ago period.
  • The equipment portfolio grew 5.6% to $1.200 billion, from $1.137 billion from the year ago period, net of asset sales and depreciation expense.
  • Tangible book value per share increased 9.3% to $33.51 at September 30, 2017, as compared to $30.66 per share at December 31, 2016.
  • The Company maintained $561 million of undrawn revolver capacity at September 30, 2017.
  • The book value of owned and managed engines and aircraft, exclusive of assets managed by our WAML subsidiary, was approximately $1.6 billion at the end of the third quarter.
  • During the quarter, the Company purchased five aircraft and two engines for a total purchase price of $58.2 million.
  • The Company issued 1,500,000 shares of 6.5% Series A-2 Preferred Stock, $0.01 par value per share at a gross issue price of $20.00 per share in September 2017.
  • The Company closed a $336 million asset-backed securitization, Willis Engine Structured Trust III (WEST III) on August 4, 2017. The Notes are secured by a portfolio of 56 engines from the revolving credit facility. We are using these funds, net of transaction expenses, to pay off part of our revolving credit facility.

Balance Sheet

As of September 30, 2017, Willis Lease had 214 commercial aircraft engines, 18 aircraft and 5 aircraft parts packages and other engine-related equipment in its lease portfolio, with a net book value of $1.200 billion, as compared to 208 commercial aircraft engines, 10 aircraft, 5 aircraft parts packages, and other engine-related equipment in its lease portfolio, with a net book value of $1.137 billion a year ago. The Company’s funded debt-to-equity ratio was 4.32 to 1 at quarter end compared to 4.59 to 1 at December 31, 2016, and 4.51 to 1 a year ago.

Willis Lease Finance
Willis Lease Finance Corporation leases large and regional spare commercial aircraft engines, auxiliary power units and aircraft to airlines, aircraft engine manufacturers and maintenance, repair and overhaul providers in 120 countries. These leasing activities are integrated with engine and aircraft trading, engine lease pools and asset management services supported by cutting edge technology through its subsidiary Willis Asset Management, as well as various end-of-life solutions for aircraft, engines and aviation materials provided through its subsidiary, Willis Aeronautical Services, Inc.

Except for historical information, the matters discussed in this press release contain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Do not unduly rely on forward-looking statements, which give only expectations about the future and are not guarantees. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update them. Our actual results may differ materially from the results discussed in forward-looking statements. Factors that might cause such a difference include, but are not limited to: the effects on the airline industry and the global economy of events such as terrorist activity, changes in oil prices and other disruptions to the world markets; trends in the airline industry and our ability to capitalize on those trends, including growth rates of markets and other economic factors; risks associated with owning and leasing jet engines and aircraft; our ability to successfully negotiate equipment purchases, sales and leases, to collect outstanding amounts due and to control costs and expenses; changes in interest rates and availability of capital, both to us and our customers; our ability to continue to meet the changing customer demands; regulatory changes affecting airline operations, aircraft maintenance, accounting standards and taxes; the market value of engines and other assets in our portfolio; and risks detailed in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K and other continuing reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Contact:
Scott B. Flaherty
Chief Financial Officer
(415) 408-4700

Consolidated Statements of Income (Loss)
(In thousands, except per share data, unaudited)Three Months Ended Nine Months Ended
September 30, % September 30, %
2017 2016 Change 2017 2016 Change
REVENUE
Lease rent revenue$ 33,474 $ 31,270 7.0% $ 95,045 $ 88,727 7.1%
Maintenance reserve revenue 20,370 14,229 43.2% 64,212 45,562 40.9%
Spare parts and equipment sales 9,294 4,160 123.4% 41,273 10,465 294.4%
Gain on sale of leased equipment 174 180 (3.3)% 4,684 3,430 36.6%
Other revenue 2,549 1,622 57.2% 6,439 3,614 78.2%
Total revenue 65,861 51,461 28.0% 211,653 151,798 39.4%
EXPENSES
Depreciation and amortization expense 16,142 16,628 (2.9)% 48,786 49,235 (0.9)%
Cost of spare parts and equipment sales 6,416 3,066 109.3% 29,546 7,785 279.5%
Write-down of equipment 6,958 1,995 248.8% 22,243 5,924 275.5%
General and administrative 14,308 12,257 16.7% 40,574 34,694 16.9%
Technical expense 2,605 1,414 84.2% 7,345 4,913 49.5%
Net finance costs
Interest expense 14,220 10,230 39.0% 36,398 30,635 18.8%
Loss on extinguishment of debt - - 0.0% - 137 (100.0)%
Total net finance costs 14,220 10,230 39.0% 36,398 30,772 18.3%
Total expenses 60,649 45,590 33.0% 184,892 133,323 38.7%
Earnings from operations 5,212 5,871 (11.2)% 26,761 18,475 44.8%
Earnings from joint ventures 3,040 631 381.8% 6,055 874 592.8%
Income before income taxes 8,252 6,502 26.9% 32,816 19,349 69.6%
Income tax expense 2,960 2,517 17.6% 13,367 7,987 67.4%
Net income$ 5,292 $ 3,985 32.8% $ 19,449 $ 11,362 71.2%
Preferred stock dividends 344 - 100.0% 988 - 100.0%
Accretion of preferred stock issuance costs 9 - 100.0% 25 - 100.0%
Net income attributable to common shareholders$ 4,939 $ 3,985 23.9% $ 18,436 $ 11,362 62.3%
Basic earnings per common share$ 0.82 $ 0.63 $ 3.04 $ 1.69
Diluted earnings per common share$ 0.80 $ 0.62 $ 2.97 $ 1.66
Average common shares outstanding 6,055 6,307 6,068 6,711
Diluted average common shares outstanding 6,173 6,448 6,198 6,849

Consolidated Balance Sheets
(In thousands, except share data, unaudited)
September 30, 2017 December 31, 2016
ASSETS
Cash and cash equivalents$ 7,879 $ 10,076
Restricted cash 64,051 22,298
Equipment held for operating lease, less accumulated depreciation 1,199,883 1,136,603
Maintenance rights 16,263 17,670
Equipment held for sale 32,798 30,710
Operating lease related receivable, net of allowances 16,422 16,484
Spare parts inventory 18,422 25,443
Investments 49,262 45,406
Property, equipment & furnishings, less accumulated depreciation 16,187 16,802
Intangibles assets, net 1,878 2,182
Other assets 12,854 14,213
Total assets$ 1,435,899 $ 1,337,887
LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY
Liabilities:
Accounts payable and accrued expenses$ 20,887 $ 17,792
Deferred income taxes 116,685 103,705
Notes payable 932,132 900,255
Maintenance reserves 69,600 71,602
Security deposits 24,706 21,417
Unearned lease revenue 6,813 5,823
Total liabilities 1,170,823 1,120,594
Redeemable preferred stock ($0.01 par value)$ 49,485 $ 19,760
Shareholders' equity:
Common stock ($0.01 par value) 64 64
Paid-in capital in excess of par 1,624 2,512
Retained earnings 214,438 196,002
Accumulated other comprehensive loss, net of tax (535) (1,045)
Total shareholders' equity 215,591 197,533
Total liabilities and shareholders' equity$ 1,435,899 $ 1,337,887

Source:Willis Lease Finance Corp.