How JetBlue Earnings Are Taking Flight Over the Competition

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JetBlue Airways Corp. (NASDAQ: JBLU) reported its most recent quarterly results before the markets opened on Tuesday. Airline stocks have been under fire as of late after the United Continental incident and then American Airlines saw problems with its staff as well. Some analysts believe that JetBlue might be the best bet in the industry going forward, and these earnings might seem to prove that.

The company posted $0.25 in earnings per share (EPS) and $1.6 billion in revenue. The consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters had called for $0.24 in EPS and revenue of $1.63 billion. The same period of last year reportedly had EPS of $0.59 and $1.62 billion in revenue.

Revenue passenger miles for the first quarter increased 3.9% to 11.4 billion on a capacity increase of 4.2%, resulting in a first quarter load factor of 83.9%.

Yield per passenger mile in the first quarter was 12.73 cents, down 5.5% compared to the first quarter of 2016. Passenger revenue per available seat mile (RASM) for the first quarter 2017 decreased 5.8% year over year to 10.68 cents and operating RASM decreased 4.8% year over year to 11.81 cents.

In terms of guidance for the second quarter, the company expects capacity to increase 4% to 6%, RASM is expected to increase 3% to 6%, and cost per available seat mile excluding fuel is expected between 4.5% and 6.5%. The consensus estimates for the current quarter are $0.48 in EPS and $1.8 billion in revenue.

On the books, JetBlue’s cash, cash equivalents and total investment securities totaled $1.05 billion at the end of the quarter, versus $1.06 billion at the end of December 2016.

Robin Hayes, JetBlue’s president and CEO, commented:

We remain focused on executing the many initiatives we have underway to improve returns and drive shareholder value. In the near-term, we took quick actions in the first quarter to address RASM trends that were below our expectations. We have been encouraged by the initial results of those actions and expect to see further improvement in the second quarter. I want to add a special thanks to our over 20,000 crewmembers for their tireless efforts in making JetBlue an outstanding company.

Shares of JetBlue were last seen up 4% at $22.64 on Tuesday, with a consensus analyst price target of $25.08 and a 52-week trading range of $14.76 to $23.15.