JetBlue Airways Corp. (NASDAQ: JBLU) on Tuesday reported first-quarter earnings that top analysts’ estimate as the airline company took advantage of cheap fuel.
The company said that the first-quarter net income soared 45 percent to $199 million, or 59 cents a share, compared with $137 million, or 40 cents a share, a year earlier. The result beat analysts’ estimates. Analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research had projected earnings of 53 cents per share.
Revenue rose 6.1 percent to $163 billion, topping analysts’ estimate of $1.62 billion.
Passenger revenue grew 4.9%, to nearly $1.5 billion. But unit revenue, the amount it takes in per seat flown a mile, dropped 8 percent in the latest quarter.
The cheaper fuel help reduce expense. Fuel costs dropped 36 percent to $215 million. The average fuel price was $1.17 a gallon in the first quarter, a 43% fall from a year ago. The company expects the fuel price to be $1.33 per gallon on average in the second quarter.
"Our disciplined growth strategy continues to yield strong performance," Chief Executive Officer Robin Hayes said in a statement.
JetBlue shares were down 0.2 percent to $20.33 on Tuesday.