JetBlue (NASDAQ: JBLU) reported its third quarter financials during Tuesday’s pre-market hours. The airline topped analysts’ estimates, sending shares higher by 5.3% midday Tuesday.
For the quarter, JetBlue reported earnings of USD 0.59 per share on revenue of USD 2.08 Billion. FactSet analysts anticipated earnings of USD 0.51 per share on revenue of USD 2.00 Billion.
Third quarter revenue per available seat mile (RASM) declined by 0.9% year-over-year. The decline is slightly better than the mid-point of JetBlue’s updated guidance range decline of 2.0% to flat.
Operating expenses per available seat mile, excluding fuel increased by 0.3%, which surpassed JetBlue’s expectations of its initial guidance of 0.5% to 2.5%.
Capacity during the quarter rose by 4.8% year-over-year, which met JetBlue’s higher end of its guidance between 3% to 5%. The Company highlighted that higher capacity was driven by solid improvement in its completion factor. JetBlue noted that its operational initiatives more than offset the impact of Hurricane Dorian and runaway constructions in Fort Lauderdale and JFK.
JetBlue’s President and Chief Operating Officer Joanna Geraghty said that the Company’s Latin and Caribbean franchise was impacted by disruptions in multiple markets. Geraghty noted that challenges ramped up throughout the summer, however, JetBlue quickly took action and reployed capacity to manage the demand in impacted markets.
“I want to thank all the teams at JetBlue for executing our plan to create long-term value for our customers and owners. We are gaining traction on all of the strategic ‘Building Blocks’ we laid out in our last Investor Day,” said Robin Hayes, JetBlue’s Chief Executive Officer.
“We are just beginning to see the benefits of our revenue, cost, fleet and capital allocation efforts, with additional opportunities ahead of us. Despite some near-term pressures on revenue in our international markets and NEO delays, we believe we are on track to deliver on our goal of $2.50 to 3.00 dollars EPS in 2020,” added Hayes.
For the fourth quarter, JetBlue is forecasting capacity increase between 4.5% to 6.5% year-over-year. RASM is projected to be in the range of a 3.5% decline or increase by 1% year-over-year, while CASM is expected to either decline by 1% or increase by 1%.
JetBlue’s RASM guidance is due to steady demand in domestic markets, led by transcon and business travels. The Company mentioned that it expects a broad decelerating domestic yield environment for JetBlue as well the industry. Meanwhile, the Company expects international market challenges to continue into the fourth quarter.