Los Angeles Business Journal

Brisk Business Boosts Air Lease Profits

By Deborah Crowe Thursday, May 8, 2014

Air Lease Corp. late Thursday said first-quarter net income jumped 53 percent as the airline demand for plane leases was on the upswing.

After markets closed, the Century City company led by billionaire aircraft leasing pioneer Steven Udvar-Hazy reported net income of $61.4 million (57 cents a share), compared with $40 million (38 cents) in the same period a year earlier. Revenue rose 28 percent to $246 million.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters on average expected the company to earn 50 cents a share on revenue of more than $238 million.

At the end of the quarter, Air Lease owned 196 aircraft that are leased to 79 airlines in 47 countries. During the quarter it delivered five new aircraft to customers and took advantage of a strong secondary market for aircraft trading to sell two older aircraft.

"The demand from airlines is outpacing our existing order pipeline of new aircraft," Udvar-Házy said in a statement.

Shares closed down 19 cents, or less than 1 percent, to $37.22 on the New York Stock Exchange, and were up more than 3 percent in after-hours trading.