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Alaska Airlines stock jumps 3% on better-than-expected Q4 earnings

Alaska Airlines (ALK) Thursday reported fourth-quarter earnings that surpassed analysts’ estimates. Earnings rose to 75 cents per share from 71 per share in the same quarter last year. This came in above the average analysts’ estimate of 73 cents per share.

Meanwhile, total revenues improved 6% to $2.06 billion, in line with the analysts’ consensus. Passenger revenues were up 6% to $1.9 billion.

Alaska Airlines fourth quarter 2018 earnings infographic

During the holiday quarter, traffic/RPM grew a modest 1% to about 13.4 billion, while capacity increased by 1.1% to 16.08 billion. The load factor was 83.3% during the period, down 0.1 point compared to last year, primarily attributable to capacity overexpansion.

CEO Brad Tilden said, “In 2018, we achieved the vast majority of our integration milestones and passed through an inflection point in our financial performance.”

The company’s margins were squeezed by higher jet fuel prices in Q4. Though fuel prices declined by the end of the year, it was still higher than the levels witnessed during the same time last year.

ALK shares rose 3% during aftermarket trading on Thursday. The stock has traded mostly sideways throughout the trailing 52 weeks and is currently down 8%.

Alaska Air Q3 profit tops street view despite cost pressure

Earlier today, shares of rivals American Airlines (AAL) and JetBlue (JBLU) gained after both companies reported better-than-expected results. Meanwhile, Southwest Airlines (LUV) stock slipped despite the company surpassing projections. Investors remained worried about the profit slide at the airline firm.

Last week, bigger rivals United Airlines (UAL) and Delta Air Lines (DAL) had reported earnings results. United shares jumped 5% after the company surpassed analysts’ estimates, while Delta shares slipped after it missed the expectations on the outlook.

 

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