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JetBlue Airways


managed a fourth-quarter profit amid high fuel prices and stiff competition, triggering a jump in its share price Thursday.

The New York-based carrier posted net income of $2.4 million, or 2 cents a share, compared with $19.5 million, or 17 cents a share last year. Analysts expected a loss of 4 cents a share, according to Thomson First Call. Revenue rose 27% to $334 million.

Revenue passenger miles, or RPMs, increased 36.0% to 4.2 billion. Yield per passenger mile, however, was 7.58 cents, down 7.1% from a year ago. Operating expenses rose 41.1% from a year ago to $321.8 million.

JetBlue managed to cope with high fuel prices better than most airlines because of its decision to hedge on prices. As a result of its fuel-hedging program, JetBlue realized a $13.1 million benefit in fuel expenses in the fourth quarter.

JetBlue joins other low-cost carriers such as

Southwest Airlines





in reporting a profit for the quarter.

Shares were at $20.70, up 77 cents, or 3.9%, in premarket trading.