Sunday, May 26, 2024

JetBlue stock surges on strong earnings


JetBlue Airways more than doubled its fourth quarter profit, compared to a year earlier, as lower fuel costs and a surge of new customers bolstered the bottom line.

The airline's net income swung from $88 million in the fourth quarter of 2014 to $190 million in the fourth quarter of 2015. Full-year net income rose from $401 million to $677 million.

Operating revenue increased 10.2% for the quarter to $1.59 billion and 10.3% for the year to $6.42 billion.

The company posted earnings per share of 56 cents, besting the S&P Capital IQ consensus analyst estimate of 51 cents.

JetBlue shares (JBLU) surged 5.9% to $22.50 in pre-market trading.

“We posted another strong quarter, producing above industry average revenue performance and running a safe and reliable operation," JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes said in a statement. "I want to thank all our 18,000 crewmembers for their terrific efforts throughout the year."

The airline is getting a substantive boost from the plunging price of oil. The average price of jet fuel the company paid in the fourth quarter was $1.68 per gallon, reflecting a 37.8% decline from a year earlier.

Despite $33 million in losses on fuel hedging in the fourth quarter, the company is positioned to benefit substantially from lower fuel prices in the first and second quarters of 2016, when it has no fuel hedges in place.

An investment in additional capacity paid off during the quarter, too, as revenue passenger miles — a gauge of how far customers paid to travel — rose 12.4%, outpacing the 10.4% capacity increase.


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Author: Red

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