JetBlue 1Q Profit Rises Above Expectations

By FOXBusiness

JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ:JBLU) said first-quarter earnings soared above Wall Street expectations, reflecting a boost in fares that helped offset rising oil prices.

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The discount carrier also announced the appointment of Mark Powers as its permanent chief financial officer. Powers has been serving as interim CFO since October.

The Long Island City, N.Y.-based airline reported net income of $30 million, or 9 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier $3 million, or a penny. Analysts were expecting a slightly smaller profit of 8 cents, according to a Thomson Reuters poll.

The earnings follow losses reported earlier by larger rivals Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL), US Airways (NYSE:LCC) and United Continental (NYSE:UAL).

Revenue for the three-month period was up 19% to $1.2 billion, virtually matching the Street’s view of $1.19 billion. The gains were led by a 14.2% increase to 7.91 billion in revenue passenger miles on a 12% increase in capacity.

"Despite an uncertain economic environment, we delivered record revenue performance and fully offset the increase in fuel costs with higher revenues,” JetBlue CEO Dave Barger said in a statement.

JetBlue recorded a 10% increase in realized fuel price to $3.25 a gallon. Its fuel expense reflects $9 million in gains related to fuel hedges.