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Alaska Air Group Reports Record Adjusted First Quarter 2013 Results


Financial Highlights:

•Reported record first quarter net income, excluding special items, of $44 million, or $0.62 per diluted share, compared to adjusted net income of $28 million, or $0.39 per diluted share in the prior year quarter. This quarter's results compare to a First Call analyst consensus estimate of $0.56 per share.

•Recorded net income for the first quarter under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) of $37 million, or $0.51 per diluted share, compared to net income of $41 million, or $0.56 per diluted share in 2012.

•Achieved trailing twelve-month return on invested capital of 13.4 percent compared to 11.6 percent in the twelve months ended March 31, 2012.

•Lowered adjusted debt-to-total-capitalization ratio by 1 point, to 53 percent, since Dec. 31, 2012.

•Repurchased 373,185 shares of common stock for $19 million. Since 2007, Air Group has used $340 million to repurchase 19 million shares.

•Held $1.3 billion in unrestricted cash and marketable securities as of March 31, 2013.

Operational Highlights:

•Awarded 2012 On-Time Performance Service Award among major North American airlines by FlightStats.com.

•Held the No. 1 spot in U.S. Department of Transportation on-time performance among the 10 largest U.S. airlines for the twelve months ended February 2013.

•Improved employee productivity by 4.3 percent
New routes:

•Began new service between San Diego and Boston and between Seattle and Salt Lake City.

•Will begin new service between San Diego and Lihue and seasonal service between Portland and Fairbanks in June.

SEATTLE — Alaska Air Group, Inc., (NYSE: ALK) today reported first quarter 2013 GAAP net income of $37 million, or $0.51 per diluted share, compared to $41 million, or $0.56 per diluted share in 2012. Excluding the impact of mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments of $12 million ($7 million after tax, or $0.11 per diluted share), the company reported record first quarter 2013 net income of $44 million, or $0.62 per diluted share, compared to net income excluding mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments of $28 million, or $0.39 per diluted share, in 2012.

"Our record performance in what is seasonally our weakest quarter is due to steady demand that kept pace with our growth, and to the many changes we've made to improve our business over the last several years," Alaska Air Group CEO Brad Tilden said. "Looking ahead, we're facing increased competition in certain markets, and we will closely monitor the environment and continue to adjust our plans to appropriately address these challenges. Our first quarter results, and our ability to be flexible and adapt to an ever-changing industry landscape, would not be possible without the dedication and determination of our employees at Alaska and Horizon."

The following table reconciles the company's reported GAAP net income and earnings per diluted share (EPS) during the first quarters of 2013 and 2012 to adjusted amounts:



Three Months Ended March 31,







(in millions, except per share amounts)



Diluted EPS




Diluted EPS

Reported GAAP net income








mark-to-market fuel-hedge adjustments, net of tax








Non-GAAP adjusted income and per-share amounts








Statistical data, as well as a reconciliation of the reported non-GAAP financial measures, can be found in the accompanying tables. A glossary of financial terms can be found on the last page of this release.

A conference call regarding the first quarter results will be simulcast via the Internet at 8:30 a.m. Pacific time on April 25, 2013. It can be accessed through the company's website at alaskaair.com/investors. For those unable to listen to the live broadcast, a replay will be available after the conclusion of the call.
References in this news release to "Air Group," "company," "we," "us" and "our" refer to Alaska Air Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries, unless otherwise specified. Alaska Airlines, Inc. and Horizon Air Industries, Inc. are referred to as "Alaska" and "Horizon," respectively, and together as our "airlines."

This news release may contain forward-looking statements subject to the safe harbor protection provided by Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements relate to future events and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause actual outcomes to be materially different from those indicated by any forward-looking statements. For a comprehensive discussion of potential risk factors, see Item 1A of the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2012. Some of these risks include general economic conditions, increases in operating costs including fuel, competition, labor costs and relations, our significant indebtedness, inability to meet cost reduction goals, seasonal fluctuations in our financial results, an aircraft accident, and changes in laws and regulations. All of the forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by reference to the risk factors discussed therein. We operate in a continually changing business environment, and new risk factors emerge from time to time. Management cannot predict such new risk factors, nor can it assess the impact, if any, of such new risk factors on our business or events described in any forward-looking statements. We expressly disclaim any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements after the date of this report to conform them to actual results. Over time, our actual results, performance or achievements will likely differ from the anticipated results, performance or achievements that are expressed or implied by our forward-looking statements, and such differences might be significant and materially adverse.
Alaska Airlines, a subsidiary of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK), together with its partner regional airlines, serves 95 cities through an expansive network in Alaska, the Lower 48, Hawaii, Canada and Mexico. Alaska Airlines has ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Network Carriers" in the J.D. Power and Associates North America Airline Satisfaction StudySM for five consecutive years from 2008 to 2012. For reservations, visit www.alaskaair.com. For more news and information, visit the Alaska Airlines newsroom at www.alaskaair.com/newsroom.

View First Quarter Financial Results

Glossary of Terms

Mainline - represents flying on Alaska jets and all associated revenues and costs

Regional - represents operations whereby Horizon, SkyWest, and another small carrier in the state of Alaska fly certain routes for Alaska using Horizon's or the other carrier's fleets

RPMs - revenue passenger miles, or "traffic"; represents the number of seats that were filled with paying passengers; one passenger traveling one mile is one RPM

ASMs - available seat miles, or "capacity"; represents total seats available across the fleet multiplied by the number of miles flown

Load Factor - RPMs as a percentage of ASMs; represents the number of available seats that were filled with paying passengers

Yield - passenger revenue per RPM; represents the average revenue for flying one passenger one mile

PRASM - passenger revenue per ASM; commonly called "passenger unit revenue"

RASM - operating revenue per ASMs, or "unit revenue"; operating revenue includes all passenger revenue, freight & mail, Mileage Plan, and other ancillary revenue; represents the average total revenue for flying one seat one mile

CASM - operating costs per ASM, or "unit cost"; represents all operating expenses including fuel and special items

CASMex - operating costs excluding fuel and special items per ASM; this metric is used to help track progress toward reduction of non-fuel operating costs since fuel is largely out of our control

Economic Fuel - best estimate of the cash cost of fuel, net of the impact of our fuel-hedging program

Aircraft Utilization - block hours per day; this represents the average number of hours our aircraft are flying

Aircraft Stage Length - represents the average miles flown per aircraft departure

Diluted Earnings per Share - represents earnings per share using fully diluted shares outstanding

Diluted Shares - represents the total number of shares that would be outstanding if all possible sources of conversion, such as stock options, were exercised

Productivity - number of revenue passengers per full-time equivalent employee

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