JetBlue’s stock slid Tuesday after the air carrier’s third-quarter earnings came in below Wall Street’s expectations.
Shares of JetBlue Airways Corp.
fell 3.85% before market open.
The company earned 18 cents a share on net income of $57 million, compared with earnings of 40 cents a share and net income of $130 million in the same period last year. Analysts surveyed by FactSet were looking for earnings of 22 cents a share.
On an adjusted basis, JetBlue earned 21 cents a share, compared with 24 cents in the prior year’s quarter and below the 24 cents projected by analysts surveyed by FactSet.
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JetBlue’s third-quarter revenue was $2.562 billion, compared with $1.972 billion a year ago. Analysts surveyed by FactSet were looking for revenue of $2.557 billion.
Revenue per available seat mile increased 23.4% compared with 2019, before the pandemic hit. JetBlue’s guidance was for an increase of 22% to 24% over 2019. “Revenue was above the high-end of our initial outlook as strong leisure and visiting friends and relatives (VFR) demand trends continued through the quarter,” JetBlue said, in a statement.
Operating expenses per available seat mile increased 32.4% compared with 2019.
For the fourth quarter, JetBlue expects capacity to be up 1% to 4% from 2019, which the company’s President and Chief Operating Officer Joanna Geraghty described in the statement as “a modest sequential step-up” versus the third quarter.
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“Throughout the quarter, strong leisure and VFR demand trends carried through the peak summer and into the fall trough period,” Geraghty said. “We see that continuing here in the fourth quarter, and we’re confident in the demand backdrop for the year-end holiday peaks.”
For the fourth quarter, JetBlue expects unit revenue to increase between 15% and 19% compared with 2019.
JetBlue’s third-quarter numbers follow strong results from American Airlines Group Inc.
United Airlines Holdings Inc.
Delta Air Lines Inc.
and Alaska Air Group Inc.
amid strengthening travel demand. Last week Alaska Air reported its third-quarter results, boosted by what the carrier’s CEO described as the busiest travel season in two years.
American Airlines’ stock was down 0.57% before market open, while United Airlines was down 0.19% and Delta’s stock was down 0.66%. Alaska Air’s stock was up 0.38%.
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