News Column

JetBlue 4Q profit rises, weather hits 1Q revenue

January 29, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) JetBlue's fourth-quarter profit jumped sharply on higher average fares despite vicious winter storms and said Wednesday that first-quarter revenue appears strong. The New York airline lost about $45 million in revenue and $30 million in operating income after it was forced to cancel about 1,800 flights due to nasty winter storms this month throughout the Northeast, where the carrier's flights are concentrated. Net income in the fourth quarter was $47 million , or 14 cents per share, compared with $1 million , or less than a penny per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 14.4 percent to $1.37 billion , while operating expenses rose 8.7 percent. Analysts expected the airline to earn 13 cents per share on revenue of $1.34 billion , according to a survey by FactSet. Bigger airlines including American, United, Delta and Southwest have all reported fourth-quarter earnings that beat analyst forecasts as they push ticket prices higher. The average JetBlue fare rose 8.9 percent to $168.94 each way an increase of nearly $14 and passenger traffic grew 7.1 percent. That increase in flying wasn't enough to offset the airline's aggressive expansion, however, and the average flight was slightly less full than in the same period of 2012. The airline's president, Robin Hayes , said, "Looking ahead to the first quarter, the revenue environment is strong," particularly in New York , Fort Lauderdale, Fla. , the Caribbean and Latin America . In trading ahead of Wednesday's opening bell, shares of JetBlue Airways Corp. rose 16 cents , or 1.8 percent, to $8.90 . Shares have risen 31 percent in the past 12 months.


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Source: Associated Press


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