Is JetBlue Breaking Ranks?

JetBlue said it will boost capacity by 8% this year, apparently the industry's biggest increase.
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TheStreet

) -

JetBlue

(JBLU) - Get Report

beat Wall Street estimates and said it would boost capacity by 8% this year, apparently the industry's biggest increase.

For the second quarter, the carrier reported net income of $30 million, or 10 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had estimated earnings of 8 cents. In the same period a year earlier, JetBlue earned $20 million, or 7 cents a share.

Revenue rose 16.4% to $939 million, in line with estimates.

"Our second-quarter results demonstrate the progress we are making to strengthen our network in Boston and New York, maximize revenues, control costs and maintain a long-term sustainable growth rate," said CEO Dave Barger said, in a prepared statement.

The carrier said it will boost capacity by 6% in the current quarter and by 8% for the full year, significant increases in an industry in which capacity discipline is credited with enabling a recovery that has been particularly apparent from strong second-quarter results. JetBlue's capacity grew 5.5% in the second quarter. The carrier has been expanding in Boston and will begin service at Washington's Reagan National airport on Nov. 1, after securing slots in a swap with

American

(AMR)

. The two carriers implemented a partnership agreement this week.

Jet Blue Stock Rating Report (JBLU) Rating and Financial Analysis

On the

US Airways

(LCC)

earnings call Wednesday, CEO Doug Parker answered an analyst's question about whether any carrier would "go rogue" and challenge the trend of limited or non-existent capacity increases.

"I will assure you it won't be us," Parker said. "For reasons that defy logic, when people start to make money, they seem to think it makes sense to add more airplanes (which) causes us all to lose money."

During the quarter, passenger revenue per available seat mile grew 11.7%. On the cost side, cost per available seat mile excluding fuel grew 8.2% to 6.51 cents.

Looking ahead, JetBlue said third-quarter passenger revenue per available seat mile will increase by 12% to 15%, while CASM excluding fuel will increase 2% to 4%. Full-year PRASM is expected to increase 9% to 12%, while full-year CASM excluding fuel is expected to increase 4% to 6%.

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.

.

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