JetBlue Announces Fourth Quarter

JetBlue Airways Corporation (Nasdaq: JBLU) today reported its results for the fourth quarter and full year 2002:
- Operating revenues for the quarter totaled $187.3 million, representing growth of 96.0% over operating revenues of $95.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2001. For the full year, operating revenues totaled $635.2 million, representing growth of 98.2% over operating revenues of $320.4 million for the full year 2001.

- Operating income in the quarter was $31.4 million, resulting in a 16.8% operating margin, compared to operating income of $4.0 million and a 4.2% operating margin in the fourth quarter of 2001. For the full year 2002, operating income was $105.0 million, resulting in an operating margin of 16.5%. This compares with operating income of $26.8 million and an 8.4% operating margin for the full year 2001.

 

- Pre-tax income in the fourth quarter grew 88.5% over 2001 to $27.2 million. For the full year, pre-tax income was $95.0 million, representing growth of 126.7% over the full year 2001.

 

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- Net income for the quarter was $15.2 million, representing earnings of $0.22 per diluted share, compared with fourth quarter 2001 net income of $11.1 million, or $0.20 per diluted share. For the full year 2002, net income totaled $54.9 million, or $0.84 per diluted share, compared with net income of $38.5 million, or $0.76 per diluted share, for the full year 2001.


Net income for the fourth quarter of 2002 includes income taxes at an effective rate of 44.3%, compared to a 23.4% effective tax rate in the fourth quarter of 2001. The effective tax rate for the full year 2002 was 42.2% compared to an 8.1% effective tax rate for the full year 2001. The increase in tax rates for both periods is attributable to the reversal of the Company`s deferred tax asset valuation allowance in 2001. The fourth quarter and full year 2002 earnings per share figures reflect an increase in the number of weighted average shares outstanding compared to 2001 as a result of the Company`s capital raising efforts, including its initial public offering in April 2002. Weighted average shares outstanding for all periods include the effect of the Company`s previously announced three-for-two stock split which was distributed on December 12, 2002.
“I am once again proud to announce that JetBlue delivered a strong performance this quarter, despite continuation of the challenging industry environment in which we operate,” said David Neeleman, chief executive officer. “We attribute this success to our strong brand and loyal customer following, our efficient utilization of assets and our continued emphasis on cost control as we grow. Most importantly, our success stems from the ongoing dedication of each crewmember to ensuring that the JetBlue Experience continues to be exceptional.”

During the fourth quarter of 2002, JetBlue achieved a completion factor of 99.7% of scheduled flights compared to 99.2% in 2001. On-time performance, defined by the US Department of Transportation as arrivals within 14 minutes of schedule, was 81.5% in the fourth quarter of 2002 compared to 88.9% the same period in 2001. Operating performance for the quarter was negatively impacted by the effects of a Christmas day snowstorm in the Northeast. The Company attained a load factor of 81.8%, an improvement of 5.1 points on a capacity increase of 79.9% over the fourth quarter of 2001. For the full year 2002, JetBlue achieved a completion factor of 99.8 versus 99.6% reported for the full year 2001. On-time performance for the full year 2002 was 85.7%, an improvement over on-time performance of 84.5% for the full year 2001.
Dave Barger, president and chief operating officer, commented, “We move into 2003 well-positioned to continue our success. Our financial results are strong, our product is very well received and we believe our crewmembers are the best in the industry. JetBlue`s philosophy for 2003 remains the same: Outstanding People… drive great Performance… which results in solid financial Prosperity.”


For the fourth quarter 2002, operating revenues increased by $91.7 million over 2001 to $187.3 million. Revenue passenger miles increased 91.9% from the fourth quarter of 2001 to 2.0 billion. Yield per passenger mile was 9.0 cents, up 2.7% compared to 2001 on a 2.5% increase in average length of haul. Operating revenue per available seat mile (RASM) increased 8.9% year-over-year to 7.59 cents. Available seat miles grew 79.9% to 2.47 billion. Operating expenses for the fourth quarter were $155.8 million, up 70.2% from the fourth quarter of 2001. Operating expense per ASM (CASM) for the fourth quarter 2002 decreased 5.4% year-over-year to 6.32 cents. On a fuel neutral basis, CASM for the fourth quarter 2002 decreased 9.0% over 2001. JetBlue ended the fourth quarter with $258 million in cash and short-term investments.

JetBlue will conduct a conference call to discuss its quarterly earnings today, January 30th, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time. A live broadcast of the conference call will be available via the World Wide Web at http://investor.jetblue.com.

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