ILFC kicks off 2011 with strong financial backing

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International Lease Finance Corp, the mega-lessor that was nearly brought down to financial disaster by its insurance company parent, AIG, came roaring back last year. It raised $9.8 billion in debt financings during 2010, and it started 2011 with another $2 billionn debt issue in January.

The annual 10K filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission by AIG recapped ILFC's financings and revealed that ILFC has $5.2 billion in debt due this year: $1.5bn in the first quarter, $1.3bn in the second, $2.2 billion in the third and $336m in the fourth.

Gary Liebowitz of Wells Fargo Securities, noted in his Liebo's Leasing Letter of 28 February that ILFC reported a $606 million operating loss in the fourth quarter, "by far the largest in its history, due to $742 million in impairment charges. This included $602 million related to Airbus's plan to re-engine the A320 family (a.k.a., Blame It On NEO), $83 million in lower future lease rentals, and $57 million for past and future asset sales. Ex-charges, ILFC's $136 million in pretax earnings was still down 60% y/y due to higher interest rates and overhaul provisions. Finally, we found the following line out of AIG's 10-K filing intriguing (italics ours): 'As part of its ongoing strategy, ILFC may pursue potential aircraft sales or opportunities to sell parts of aircraft.' To our knowledge part sales have never been integral to ILFC, perhaps suggesting future strategic action."