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JetBlue Airways’ October Traffic Rises, Load Factor Falls


JetBlue Airways Corporation JBLU posted a substantial rise in air traffic for October. Traffic — measured in revenue passenger miles (RPMs) — improved 3.7% year over year to 3.7 billion. On a year-over-year basis, consolidated capacity (or available seat miles/ASMs) expanded 6.8% to 4.5 billion.

Load factor or percentage of seats filled by passengers decreased 240 basis points (bps) to 82.4% in the month as capacity expansion outpaced traffic growth.

The Long Island City, NY-based low-cost carrier registered a completion factor (system wide) of 97.8% in the month with 79.5% flights on schedule.

On a year-to-date basis, the carrier posted a 3.7% rise in RPMs while ASMs rose 4.5%, both on a year-over-year basis. Load factor fell 70 bps year over year to 84.5%.

JetBlue maintains its projection for revenues per available seat mile (RASM) in the fourth quarter of 2017 at the range of a decline of 3% to flat year over year. This is inclusive of the effects of hurricanes by one to two percentage points.

The carrier recently reported third-quarter 2017 earnings numbers. JetBlue’s earnings of 55 cents per share surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 3 cents. The bottom line, however, declined 5.2% from the year-ago figure due to higher costs. The recent hurricanes also hurt results. Operating revenues came in at $1,813 million, just ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,809.3 million. The top line also increased 4.7% from the year-ago figure.

Key airline players like United Continental Holdings UAL and American Airlines AAL have also recently reported third-quarter earnings numbers.

JetBlue Airways Corporation Price

JetBlue Airways Corporation Price | JetBlue Airways Corporation Quote

Zacks Rank & Key Pick

JetBlue carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

A better-ranked stock in the airline space is International Consolidated Airlines Group SA ICAGY, sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Shares of International Consolidated Airlines have surged more than 34% in a year.

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