GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes S.A. (NYSE:GOL) reported results for the fourth quarter of 2009. During the quarter, net revenues were R$1,617.6 million, up from R$1,548.6 million in the year-ago quarter.
During the quarter, GOL posted operating income of R$119.2 million, with an operating margin of 7.4%, 121.2% up from R$53.9 million and 3.5% margin in the year-ago quarter.
The improvement is a result of the company's competitive advantages in relation to greater flight frequency between domestic airports, low-cost leader, and high indicators of punctuality, regularity, safety and differentiated client service, as well as increased demand on the domestic and international markets.
Fourth-quarter net income totaled R$397.8 million, with a margin of 24.6%, versus a loss of R$541.6 million in the same quarter of 2008. The result benefited from the use of tax credits worth R$352.0 million recognized in income tax and social contribution line, resulting from the fiscal losses generated by VRG, acquired in 2007.
GOL reported EPS of R$3.50 or US$2.00, well above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 17 cents.
Operating costs and expenses came to R$1,498.5 million, 0.2% up year-over-year due to non-recurring expenses and provisions of approximately R$73 million.
GOL successfully reached its goal with a cash position of R$1.4 billion, which strengthened its balance sheet, closing the year with cash and cash equivalents of R$1,441.7 million, equivalent to 23.9% of annual net revenue, 117.5% up on the previous quarter and 143.7% up year-over-year.
The increase was due to the primary private share offering, the debenture issue and the SMILES partnership with Bradesco (NYSE:BBD) and Banco do Brasil.
GOL approved the payment of dividends related to the year of 2009, followed by a capital increase of the company by the amount equal to the dividends declared. Dividends amounting to R$185.8 million (R$ 0.70 per share) will be paid over net revenue of R$858.5 million.
GOL has been delivering positive and increasing operating profit for the last six consecutive quarters, and we expect this trend to continue in the coming years.