JetBlue Announces 2013 Annual Profit
NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwired) -- 01/29/14 -- JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ: JBLU) today reported its results for the fourth quarter and full year 2013:
Operating income of $115 million in the fourth quarter. This compares to operating income of $44 million in the fourth quarter of 2012. For the full year 2013, JetBlue reported operating income of $428 million. This compares to operating income of $376 million for the full year 2012.
Pre-tax income of $77 million in the fourth quarter. This compares to pre-tax income of $1 million in the fourth quarter of 2012. For the full year 2013, JetBlue reported pre-tax income of $279 million. This compares to a pre-tax income of $209 million for the full year 2012.
Net income for the fourth quarter was $47 million, or $0.14 per diluted share. This compares to JetBlue's fourth quarter 2012 net income of $1 million, or $0.00 per diluted share. For the full year 2013, JetBlue reported net income of $168 million, or $0.52 per diluted share. This compares to net income of $128 million, or $0.40 per diluted share for the full year 2012.
"Our record fourth quarter results top off an excellent 2013 for JetBlue," said Dave Barger, JetBlue's Chief Executive Officer. "Thanks to the hard work of our 15,000 crewmembers delivering a differentiated product to our customers, margins improved as we continued to pursue profitable growth opportunities while maintaining competitive costs. As we enter 2014, we believe we are well positioned to build on our 2013 success."
JetBlue reported record fourth quarter operating revenues of $1.4 billion. Revenue passenger miles for the fourth quarter increased 7.1% to 8.7 billion on a capacity increase of 8.3%, resulting in a fourth quarter load factor of 80.9%, a decrease of 1.0 point year over year.
Yield per passenger mile in the fourth quarter was 14.35 cents, up 6.5% compared to the fourth quarter of 2012. Passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) for the fourth quarter 2013 increased 5.3% year over year to 11.62 cents and operating revenue per available seat mile (RASM) increased 5.6% year over year to 12.77 cents.
"We continue to be pleased with strong revenue performance throughout our network as we continue to generate a revenue premium versus the industry in many of our key markets -- particularly in New York, Fort Lauderdale and the Caribbean & Latin America," said Robin Hayes, JetBlue's President. "Looking ahead to the first quarter, the revenue environment is strong."
Operating expenses for the quarter increased 8.7%, or $100 million, over the prior year period. Interest expense for the quarter declined 8.4%, or $5 million as a result of JetBlue's debt reduction strategy. JetBlue's operating expense per available seat mile (CASM) for the fourth quarter increased 0.4% year over year to 11.70 cents. Excluding fuel and profit sharing, CASM increased 0.6% to 7.30 cents.
Over the course of 2013, JetBlue improved its return on invested capital (ROIC) to 5.3%. "We remain committed to improving ROIC by one percentage point per year on average," said Mark Powers, JetBlue's Chief Financial Officer. "We recognize that while we have more work to do to improve returns, we believe we have a plan in place to achieve these goals in 2014."
Fuel Expense and Hedging
JetBlue continued to hedge fuel to manage price volatility. Specifically, during the fourth quarter JetBlue hedged approximately 28% of its fuel consumption and managed approximately 12% of its fuel consumption using fixed forward price agreements (FFPs). This resulted in a realized fuel price of $3.10 per gallon, a 3.1% decrease over fourth quarter 2012 realized fuel price of $3.20. JetBlue recorded $3 million in losses on fuel hedges that settled during the fourth quarter.
JetBlue has managed approximately 24% of its first quarter projected fuel requirements using a combination of FFPs, jet fuel swaps and caps. Based on the fuel curve as of January 23rd, JetBlue expects an average price per gallon of fuel, including the impact of hedges, FFPs and fuel taxes, of $3.13 in the first quarter.
Liquidity and Cash Flow
JetBlue ended the year with approximately $627 million in unrestricted cash and short term investments. In addition, JetBlue maintains $550 million in undrawn lines of credit. For the full year 2013, JetBlue generated $758 million of operating cash flow and had capital expenditures of $637 million, including $453 million of aircraft investments. As a result, JetBlue generated $121 million in free cash flow in 2013.
During 2013, JetBlue repaid $510 million in debt and capital lease obligations, including approximately $248 million in the fourth quarter. In addition, JetBlue prepaid approximately $94 million of aircraft related debt in December. JetBlue recorded a $3 million loss in non-operating income during the quarter in connection with this prepayment. JetBlue expects this transaction will generate $25 million in interest expense savings over the next six years. JetBlue plans to repay approximately $470 million in debt and capital lease obligations in 2014, including approximately $235 million in the first quarter.
JetBlue has increased its pool of unencumbered aircraft from one to 23 and decreased its total debt balance by approximately $550 million since 2011, thereby decreasing the financial risk in the business. "We remain focused on continuing to strengthen our balance sheet as we expect to continue to generate free cash flow and purchase aircraft with cash in 2014," said Mr. Powers.
First Quarter and Full Year Outlook
JetBlue expects first quarter results to be adversely impacted by severe weather in the Northeast during the beginning of January, which resulted in the cancellation of approximately 1,800 flights. The severe weather reduced JetBlue's total revenue by an estimated $45 million and reduced operating income for the first quarter by approximately $30 million.
For the first quarter of 2014, CASM is expected to be increase between 0.0% and 2.0% versus the year-ago period. Excluding fuel and profit sharing, CASM in the first quarter is expected to increase between 3.0% and 5.0% year over year.
CASM for the full year is expected to increase between 1.0% and 3.0% over full year 2013. Excluding fuel and profit sharing, CASM in 2014 is expected to increase between 3.0% and 5.0% year over year.
Capacity is expected to increase between 2.5% and 4.5% in the first quarter. For the full year, capacity is expected to increase between 5.0% and 7.0%.
JetBlue will conduct a conference call to discuss its quarterly earnings today, January 29, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time. A live broadcast of the conference call will be available via the internet at http://investor.jetblue.com.
As New York's Hometown AirlineTM and a leading carrier in Boston, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Los Angeles (Long Beach), Orlando and San Juan, JetBlue carries approximately 30 million customers a year to 82 cities in the US, Caribbean and Latin America with an average of 800 daily flights. With JetBlue, all seats are assigned, all fares are one-way, and an overnight stay is never required. Upcoming destinations include Detroit, Mich. and Savannah, Ga. as well as Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, subject to receipt of government operating authority. For more information please visit JetBlue.com.
Posted: January 30, 2014