(JBLU) JetBlue Airways Witnesses High Jan Traffic

JetBlue Airways (JBLU) reported robust traffic results for Jan 2013, on the back of higher capacity. The company’s airline traffic – measured in revenue passenger miles or RPMs, which implies revenue generated per mile per passenger – increased 11.2% year over year to 2.78 billion in the reported month. Consolidated capacity (or available seat miles/ASMs) was 3.41 billion, up 9.9% from Jan 2012.

The load factor or percentage of seats filled by passengers was 81.7%, up 100 basis points. Passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) remained flat year over year. The company registered a completion factor of 99.7%, with on-time performance of 78.3%.

Additionally, JetBlue Airways attempts to increase its coast-to-coast services through new flights. The company plans to start second daily non-stop flights from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. A second daily summer seasonal flight will also start operating between SFO and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Both the flights will be effective from May 21.

Long Island City, New York based JetBlue Airways delivered a break-even fourth quarter 2012, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate earnings of 2 cents as well as the year-ago earnings of 8 cents per share. Total operating revenue climbed 4.2% year over year to $1.19 billion, but lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.22 billion.

The American low-cost air service firm – that operates with the youngest and most fuel-efficient fleet among other major U.S. airlines – provides high-quality customer service. For the coming months, JetBlue Airways is well positioned for growth due to its strong brand name, superior in-flight services, fuel hedging strategy, strong liquidity positions and a non-unionized workforce.

However, rising fuel price, competitive pressures, and an uncertain economic situation remains an overhang on the stock. JetBlue Airways currently retains a Zacks Rank #3, implying a Hold rating.

Other Stocks

Airline stocks to look out for in the coming days are Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL), Deutsche Lufthansa Aktiengesellschaft (DLAKY) and Republic Airways Holdings Inc. (RJET). All the 3 firms currently hold a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
DELTA AIR LINES (DAL): Free Stock Analysis Report

(DLAKY): ETF Research Reports

JETBLUE AIRWAYS (JBLU): Free Stock Analysis Report

REPUBLIC AIRWAY (RJET): Free Stock Analysis Report

Zacks Investment Research

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