WestJet (TSX: WJA) today announced its fourth quarter and year end results for 2018, with full year net earnings of $91.5 million, or $0.80 per fully diluted share. This compares with net earnings of $279.1 million, or $2.38 per fully diluted share in the full year 2017. In the fourth quarter of 2018 the airline achieved net earnings of $29.2 million, or $0.26 per fully diluted share. This result compares with net earnings of $47.8 million, or $0.41 per fully diluted share reported in the fourth quarter of 2017.
"In 2018 we executed several significant milestones on our path to becoming a high-value global network airline," said Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. "As we enter 2019, we continue to build momentum and are well-positioned to deliver on our strategic initiatives and expand margins. I would like to thank every WestJetter for their hard work through an especially busy holiday season culminating in our WestJet mainline business achieving the highest completion rate in North America in December, as measured by FlightStats."
On February 4, 2019, WestJet's Board of Directors declared a cash dividend of $0.14 per common voting share and variable voting share for the first quarter of 2019, to be paid on March 29, 2019, to shareholders of record on March 13, 2019. All dividends paid by WestJet are, pursuant to subsection 89(14) of the Income Tax Act, designated as eligible dividends, unless indicated otherwise. An eligible dividend paid to a Canadian resident is entitled to the enhanced dividend tax credit.