Spirit Airlines (SAVE) , the leading low-cost airline carrier in America, is setting its sights on continuing to raise the price of its shares in 2019.
After ringing the bell on Monday, CEO Ted Christie joined TheStreet's Kevin Curran on the floor of the NYSE to outline the company's plans for the year upcoming.
"What we offer is a very low fare and that is for the most discretionary traveler," Christie said. "On our airline, you only pay for what you use and that gives you good value."
The focus on cost-conscious modeling is particularly relevant to younger travelers. As the millennial generation should shortly overtake baby boomers in the U.S. population, the longer term thesis for focusing on the younger generation is a salient one.
The focus on "get what you pay for" was consistently touched upon by Christie, as he said this should be leveraged to continue growth despite some slowdown from the fourth quarter.
The company forecast first quarter unit revenue to see some deceleration from 11% in the fourth quarter, to 5% expected for the March quarter. That metric deceleration was a cause for concern and led to a brief stock slide post-earnings. Still, Christie remained unfazed.
"We had very, very strong unit revenue in the fourth quarter," he noted, as the season does include a large degree of holiday travel. "Ancillary is a big component of our model...what we think we can do is price and structure that ancillary model in a way that best aligns with demand. That's what drives value to the people and our shareholders."
Christie added that the shareholders are beginning to see the growth story that this model provides and has allowed it to outpace peers in recent months. For example, as Delta Air Lines (DAL) stock tumbled by double digits amid some turbulent markets, Spirit soared
To be sure, Christie explained that the company is not immune to the government shutdown fears that have curbed outlooks for many airlines despite its insulation from the travel of government contractors that tend to travel on business class carriers.
"We see it operationally." He said. "As we try to add aircraft, as we add destinations to our markets, we need the government to participate in that. It can be disruptive."
For the full interview and Christie's outlook for low cost carriers like Spirit in 2019, check out the video with today's bell ringer above.
For more on how discounters and demand driving airlines stack up against traditional, dividend-driven airline stocks, head over to Real Money for Curran's thoughts.