JetBlue Reports Higher Third Quarter Net Income of $45 Million
By Claudette Covey
October 25, 2012 10:39 PM
JetBlue Airways reported third quarter net income was $45 million compared to $35 million in the same quarter last year. Operating income was $113 million, resulting in an 8.6 percent operating margin, compared to operating income of $108 million and a 9 percent operating margin in the third quarter of 2011. Pre-tax income was $73 million for the third quarter compared to pre-tax income of $56 million in the same quarter oin2011.
"We are very pleased to report our 10th consecutive quarter of profitability, which wouldn't have been possible without the hard work and dedication of our 14,000 crewmembers," said Dave Barger, JetBlue's president and CEO. "We continue to execute on our profitable growth strategy in Boston and the Caribbean & Latin America, which drove record revenue performance during the third quarter. At the same time, a continued focus on cost control and operational efficiency were critical in delivering these strong results."
JetBlue reported record operating revenues in the third quarter of $1.3 billion, an increase of 9.4 percent compared with the same period last year. Revenue passenger miles for the third quarter increased 8.9 percent to 9.07 billion on a capacity increase of 8.6 percent, resulting in a third quarter load factor of 84.8 percent, an increase of 0.3 points year over year.
Yield per passenger mile in the third quarter was 13.15 cents, up 0.8 percent compared to the third quarter of 2011. Passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) for the third quarter 2012 increased 1.1 percent year over year to 11.15 cents and operating revenue per available seat mile (RASM) increased 0.7 percent year over year to 12.21 cents. Operating expenses for the quarter increased 9.8 percent, or $108 million, over the prior year period. JetBlue's operating expense per available seat mile (CASM) for the third quarter increased 1.1 percent year-over-year to 11.16 cents. Excluding fuel, CASM increased 3.7 percent to 6.67 cents, driven primarily by higher maintenance expense due to the aging of JetBlue's fleet.
JetBlue said it continued to hedge fuel to manage price volatility. Specifically, during the third quarter JetBlue hedged approximately 27 percent of its fuel consumption and also managed approximately 18 percent of its fuel consumption using fixed forward price agreements (FFPs), resulting in a realized fuel price of $3.17 per gallon, a 2 percent decrease over third quarter 2011 realized fuel price of $3.25. JetBlue's fuel expense reflects approximately $2 million in gains on fuel hedges settling during the third quarter.
JetBlue ended the third quarter with approximately $1.1 billion in unrestricted cash and short term investments. Since Dec. 31, 2011, JetBlue has increased the number of unencumbered A320 aircraft to seven and decreased the total debt balance by approximately $213 million.
For the fourth quarter of 2012, CASM is expected to increase between 2 percent and 4 percent over the year-ago period. JetBlue said it expects roughly half of this year over year increase to be driven by maintenance expense. Excluding fuel, CASM in the fourth quarter is expected to increase between 2 percent and 4 percent year over year. CASM for the full year is expected to increase between 1.5 percent and 3.5 percent over full year 2011. Excluding fuel, CASM in 2012 is expected to increase between 2 percent and 4 percent year over year. Capacity is expected to increase between 5 percent and 7 percent in the fourth quarter and to increase between 7 percent and 9 percent for the full year.