Alaska Air Group said it expects to report a "significant" third-quarter loss because of a $220 million reduction in the value of its fuel...
Alaska Air Group said it expects to report a “significant” third-quarter loss because of a $220 million reduction in the value of its fuel hedges, and the cost of benefits to laid-off workers.
The warning sent the Seattle company’s shares down $2.14, or 11.8 percent, to $16.05 Tuesday, more than twice the percentage decline of the major stock indexes. The stock is down nearly 36 percent so far this year.
Capacity at the company’s Alaska Airlines will fall further than planned this quarter and in the first quarter of 2009 because a strike by Machinists at Boeing will delay aircraft deliveries, Alaska Air said in a regulatory filing.
Six of the seven deliveries to Alaska of 737s planned for the rest of 2008 are on hold because of the strike. Alaska had a total 22 737s on order when the strike began Sept. 6.
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The company, parent of Horizon Air, is among U.S. carriers retiring planes and cutting jobs to help end losses from fuel prices that reached a record high in July. Horizon said Tuesday it’s in talks with Bombardier about deferring the 2009 deliveries of 11 Q400 aircraft.
The company didn’t give a figure for its expected loss and said it would have a third-quarter profit excluding one-time costs, also without providing a figure. Alaska Air was expected to earn 67 cents a share on that basis, the average of nine analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg News.
The company said it expects to record a $220 million loss in the market value of its fuel hedges because of the recent drop in crude-oil prices, and expenses of as much as $4 million for severance and medical benefits for laid-off workers.
Alaska Air said it will have more costs this quarter as employees accept early-out packages. The company said last month it would cut 850 to 1,000 jobs.
Alaska Airlines’ capacity will fall as much as 8 percent for the fourth quarter and as much as 12 percent in the first quarter of 2009 because of delayed Boeing deliveries, the company said. The carrier’s capacity for all of next year may drop 8 percent, it said, reiterating a forecast from September.
Horizon Air capacity will fall as much as 15 percent in the first quarter of 2009 from a year earlier, and about 9 percent for all of 2009, the company said. Its capacity is slated to drop 22 percent in October, 21 percent in November and 16 percent in December.
Horizon said Tuesday it will furlough about 40 pilots in November, with additional layoffs late in the fourth quarter and early in 2009.