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JetBlue Reports Better-Than-Expected 1Q Profits

Fri Apr 23, 2004 6:19 am


New York, NY (April 22, 2004) -- JetBlue Airways (Nasdaq: JBLU) today reported its results for the first quarter 2004:

* Operating revenues for the quarter totaled $289.0 million, representing growth of 33.1% over operating revenues of $217.1 million in the first quarter of 2003.
* Operating income in the quarter was $32.7 million, resulting in an 11.3% operating margin, compared to operating income of $34.5 million and a 15.9% operating margin in the first quarter of 2003.
* Net income for the quarter was $15.2 million, representing earnings of $0.14 per diluted share, compared with first quarter 2003 net income of $17.4 million, or $0.17 per diluted share.

"We're pleased to have achieved a double-digit operating margin in what has been a challenging quarter, marked by increased competitive capacity and seasonal sluggishness in our East-West markets," said David Neeleman, JetBlue's Chairman and CEO. "At the start of our fifth full year of operations, our crewmembers have made outstanding efforts to further improve our low-cost structure and have continued to demonstrate that taking care of our customers and exceeding their expectations are the keys to creating customer loyalty and strong demand for our product."

During the first quarter of 2004, JetBlue achieved a completion factor of 99.8% of scheduled flights versus 98.8% in the first quarter of 2003. On-time performance, defined by the US Department of Transportation as arrivals within 14 minutes of schedule, was 83.7% in the first quarter of 2004 compared to 76.6% for the same period in 2003. The Company attained a load factor in the first quarter of 2003 of 79.9%, a decrease of 1.5 points on a capacity increase of 44.6% over the first quarter of 2003.

Dave Barger, President and COO, commented, "Thanks to the dedication, energy and spirit of our crewmembers, we turned in another quarter of solid operational performance. We were honored to recently be named the number one airline in the annual Airline Quality Rating survey published by the University of Nebraska and Wichita State University, based on the strength of our operating metrics reported to the Department of Transportation (DOT)."

For the first quarter 2004, operating revenues increased by 33.1% over 2003 to $289.0 million. Revenue passenger miles increased 42.0% from the first quarter of 2003 to 3.4 billion. Yield per passenger mile was 8.29 cents, down 6.2% compared to 2003 on a 7.8% increase in average length of haul. Operating revenue per available seat mile (RASM) decreased 7.9% year-over-year to 6.85 cents. Available seat miles grew 44.6% to 4.2 billion. Operating expenses for the first quarter were $256.3 million, up 40.3% from the first quarter of 2003. Operating expense per ASM (CASM) for the first quarter 2004 decreased 2.9% year-over-year to 6.08 cents. During the quarter, realized fuel price was $0.92 per gallon, a 6.1% decrease over first quarter 2003 realized fuel price of $0.98. JetBlue ended the first quarter with $585 million in cash and short-term investments.

JetBlue will conduct a conference call to discuss its quarterly earnings today, April 22, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time. A live broadcast of the conference call will be available via the World Wide Web at

Pretty good, eh? Their predicted profit margin was 9-11%, but 11.3% is what it came out to be. I don't see a break-even load factor on the news release - anyone know what it was for 1Q?


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