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JetBlue Airways (JBLU)Tops Q2 Earnings & Revenue Estimates

Low-cost carrier, JetBlue Airways Corporation’s JBLU second-quarter 2017 earnings (excluding special items) of 64 cents per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 8 cents, which pleased the investors.

Consequently, shares of the company rallied in early trading. Moreover, quarterly earnings improved 20.75% from the year-ago figure. Results were aided by higher revenues.

Operating revenues came in at $1,842 million, ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,822.1 million. Revenues improved 12.11% from the year-ago figure. Passenger revenues, which accounted for bulk of the top line (89.6%), improved 11% in the second quarter. Other revenues increased 22.8%.

Operating Statistics

Capacity, measured in available seat miles, expanded 4.8% year over year. Traffic, measured in revenue passenger miles, grew 5% in the second quarter. Load factor (percentage of seats filled by passengers) improved 20 basis points (bps) year over year to 85.2% in the reported quarter as traffic growth outpaced capacity expansion.

Yield per passenger mile improved 5.7% year over year to 13.6 cents in the reported quarter. Passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM:  a key measure of unit revenue) increased 5.9% to 11.59 cents, while operating revenue per available seat mile (RASM) climbed 7% to 12.93 cents.

Operating Income and Expenses

In the second quarter, total operating expenses (on a reported basis) increased 11.9% year over year. Average fuel cost per gallon (including fuel taxes) escalated 12.3% to $1.61. Moreover, JetBlue’s operating cost per available seat mile (CASM) increased 6.8% to 10.45 cents in the reported quarter. Excluding fuel, the metric also climbed 5.1% to 8.16 cents on the back of rise in labor costs.

JetBlue Airways Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise


JetBlue Airways Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | JetBlue Airways Corporation Quote

Balance Sheet

JetBlue sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), exited the quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $550 million compared with $433 million at the end of 2016. Total debt, at the end of the quarter was $1,305 million than $1,384 million at the end of 2016. In fact, the company is constantly working toward reducing its debt levels.

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.


For the third quarter of 2017, the carrier expects capacity to increase in the band of 6.5% to 7.5%. For the full-year 2017 the metric is projected to increase in the range of 5.5% to 6.5%.

CASM, excluding fuel, is expected to grow in the band of 1.5% to 3.5% for the third quarter. For the full-year 2017 the metric is now anticipated to grow in the range of 2% to 3.5% (old guidance had called for growth in the range of 1.5% to 3.5%). Furthermore, RASM growth is projected to range between (0.5)% and 2.5% for the third quarter of 2017 compared to the same period in the previous year. Fuel cost, net of hedges, is projected at $1.61 per gallon for the third quarter.

Other Important Releases Coming Up

Investors interested in the airline space keenly await the second-quarter earnings reports of SkyWest, Inc. SKYW, Spirit Airlines SAVE and Alaska Air Group ALK. While SkyWest and Spirit Airlines are scheduled to report results on Jul 27, Alaska will unveil its earnings report on Jul 26.

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