Why JetBlue Airways (JBLU) Stock Is Down Today

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- JetBlue Airways (JBLU) fell Wednesday along with other airline stocks after Lufthansa cautioned its profit would be lower than previously expected this year thanks to labor union strikes and less-than-expected revenue growth in its passenger and cargo businesses.

Lufthansa said it expects an operating profit of approximately EUR1 billion ($1.35 billion), or approximately EUR1.3 billion after adjustments. The airline had previously forecast an operating profit of EUR1.3 billion to EUR1.5 billion, with adjusted operating profit of EUR1.7 billion to EUR1.9 billion. Lufthansa cautioned about potential dangers to its earnings forecast when it reported first-quarter results in May but maintained its guidance at the time.

The news sent Lufthansa shares down approximately 10% and drove other airline stocks down, as well. JetBlue was down 1.98% to $10.42 at 11:50 a.m.

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates JETBLUE AIRWAYS CORP as a "buy" with a ratings score of B-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate JETBLUE AIRWAYS CORP (JBLU) a BUY. This is driven by some important positives, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, JBLU's share price has jumped by 69.07%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Turning to the future, naturally, any stock can fall in a major bear market. However, in almost any other environment, the stock should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed nice gains in the past year.
  • The revenue growth significantly trails the industry average of 42.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.8%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • JETBLUE AIRWAYS CORP has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, JETBLUE AIRWAYS CORP increased its bottom line by earning $0.51 versus $0.39 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.67 versus $0.51).
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 57.07% to $322.00 million when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, JETBLUE AIRWAYS CORP's average is still marginally south of the industry average growth rate of 61.46%.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. When compared to other companies in the Airlines industry and the overall market, JETBLUE AIRWAYS CORP's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: JBLU Ratings Report

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Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

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