JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ: JBLU) today reported its results for the second quarter 2017:
Operating income of $354 million, an increase of 13.0% from the second quarter of 2016.
Pre-tax income of $332 million, an increase of 14.9% from the second quarter of 2016.
Second quarter net income of $211 million, or $0.64 per diluted share. This compares to JetBlue’s second quarter 2016 net income of $181 million, or $0.53 per diluted share.
JetBlue reported second quarter operating revenues of $1.8 billion. Revenue passenger miles for the second quarter increased 5.0% to 12.1 billion on a capacity increase of 4.8%, resulting in a second quarter load factor of 85.2%, a 0.2 point increase year over year.
Yield per passenger mile in the second quarter was 13.60 cents, up 5.7% compared to the second quarter of 2016. Passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) for the second quarter of 2017 increased 5.9% year over year to 11.59 cents and operating revenue per available seat mile (RASM) increased 7.0% year over year to 12.93 cents.
Compared with last year, operating expenses for the quarter increased 11.9%, or $158 million. Interest expense for the quarter declined 15.3%, or $4 million, as JetBlue continued to reduce its debt. JetBlue’s operating expense per available seat mile (CASM) for the second quarter increased 6.8% year over year to 10.45 cents. Excluding fuel, second quarter CASM1 increased 5.1% to 8.16 cents.
“Our second quarter unit revenue exceeded our initial guidance as a result of our targeted revenue initiatives and a solid demand environment. We continue to execute on the commercial and cost initiatives we have underway to deliver above industry average margins and drive shareholder value. I’d like to thank our 21,000 Crewmembers for their hard work in the peak travel season and dedication to delivering a great product and service to our Customers that will translate into greater value for our shareholders,” said Robin Hayes, JetBlue’s President and CEO.
Fuel Expense and Hedging
In the second quarter of 2017 JetBlue had hedges in place for approximately 10% of its fuel consumption. The realized fuel price in the quarter was $1.61 per gallon, a 12.3% increase versus second quarter 2016 realized fuel price of $1.43.
JetBlue has hedged approximately 10% of its third and fourth quarter of 2017 fuel consumption using jet fuel swaps. Based on the fuel curve as of July 14th, JetBlue expects an average price per gallon of fuel, including the impact of hedges and fuel taxes, of $1.61 in the third quarter of 2017.
Liquidity and Cash Flow
JetBlue ended the quarter with approximately $1 billion in unrestricted cash and short term investments, or about 15% of trailing twelve month revenue. In addition, JetBlue maintains approximately $625 million in undrawn lines of credit.
During the second quarter, JetBlue repaid $35 million in regularly scheduled debt and capital lease obligations. JetBlue anticipates paying approximately $53 million in regularly scheduled debt and capital lease obligations in the third quarter 2017 and approximately $194 million for the full year 2017.
“We are committed to driving improved margins and we are making good progress as we execute our structural cost program. We succeeded in controlling unit cost pressures during the quarter despite a lower completion factor and will continue to bring intensity and discipline to the effort,” said Steve Priest, JetBlue’s EVP Chief Financial Officer.
Third Quarter and Full Year Outlook
For further details see the Investor Update and the Second Quarter 2017 Earnings Presentation available via the internet at http://investor.jetblue.com.
Capacity is expected to increase between 6.5% and 7.5% year over year in the third quarter 2017. For the full year 2017, JetBlue expects capacity to increase between 5.5% and 6.5%.
RASM growth is expected to range between (0.5)% and 2.5% for the third quarter 2017 compared to the same period in 2016.
CASM excluding fuel is expected to grow between 1.5% and 3.5% for the third quarter of 2017. For the full year 2017, JetBlue expects year over year CASM excluding fuel to grow between 2.0% and 3.5%.
JetBlue will conduct a conference call to discuss its quarterly earnings today, July 25, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time. A live broadcast of the conference call will also be available via the internet at http://investor.jetblue.com.