GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes S.A. (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 (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.

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