JetBlue Withdraws Guidance as Coronavirus Impact Not Reflected in Outlook

JetBlue says its first-quarter and full-year 2020 guidance doesn't reflect the impact of the coronavirus on its business.
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Shares of JetBlue  (JBLU) - Get Report took a hit Monday after the company filed a report with the Securities and Exchange Commission saying that its first-quarter and full-year 2020 guidance doesn't reflect the impact of the coronavirus on its business.

The guidance, initially issued on Jan. 23, was withdrawn due to the expected impact of the coronavirus on the travel industry.

The company said that as of Feb. 25, 87% of the company’s first-quarter revenue guidance was booked and second-quarter revenue booked totaled 22% of guidance. However, the company also reported seeing “significant deterioration” in forward bookings since late February.

JetBlue now expects a negative impact to first-quarter revenue per average seat mile of at least six points while also noting that “trends have worsened through last week and have not yet stabilized.”

The company’s first quarter EPS guidance between $2.50 and $3  excludes the expected impact of the coronavirus and was therefore withdrawn Monday.

The airline said that it was taking near-term actions to lessen the impact of the epidemic, including adjusting schedules between March and early May, potential capacity reductions amid deteriorating demand trends, and reducing spending across the company.

The company also said that it believes it has one of the strongest balance sheets in the industry in terms of both leverage and liquidity levels.

JetBlue has $1.2 billion in unrestricted cash and an undrawn committed credit revolver of $550 million.

JetBlue shares were falling 3.8% to $13.36 in trading Monday.