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JetBlue Airways' (JBLU) July Load Factor Falls, Stock Down

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Long Island City, NY-based JetBlue Airways Corporation (JBLU - Free Report) posted a significant rise in air traffic for July. Traffic – measured in revenue passenger miles (RPMs) – improved 5.1% year over year to 4.48 billion. On a year-over-year basis, consolidated capacity (or available seat miles/ASMs) expanded 5.9% to 5.14 billion.

Load factor or percentage of seats filled by passengers decreased 70 basis points (bps) to 87.1% in the month as capacity expansion outpaced traffic growth. This decline in load factor seems to have disappointed investors. Consequently, the stock declined 1.78% to $21.46 at the close of business on Aug 10.

The low-cost carrier registered a completion factor (system wide) of 97.5% in the month with 63.5% flights on schedule.

On a year-to-date basis, the carrier posted a 4.6% rise in RPMs while ASMs rose 4.7%, both on a year-over-year basis. Load factor fell 10 bps year over year to 85%.

JetBlue maintains its projection for revenue per available seat mile (RASM) in the third quarter of 2017 at the range of a decline of 0.5% to a rise of 2.5%.

This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company recently reported second-quarter 2017 earnings numbers. The carrier’s earnings (excluding special items) of 64 cents per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 8 cents. Operating revenues came in at $1,842 million, ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,822.1 million. Both earnings and revenues improved year over year. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here

Airline heavyweights like Southwest Airlines (LUV - Free Report) , American Airlines Group (AAL - Free Report) and Alaska Air Group (ALK - Free Report) have also reported their financial numbers over the past few weeks, each posting better-than-expected results.

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