US Airways Group Inc (LCC), Delta Air Lines, Inc. (DAL), JetBlue Airways Corporation (JBLU): Is Flying More Worry-Free than Cruising?

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The company’s financial and operating performance for May 2013 saw consolidated passenger unit revenue increase 0.5% year over year. Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL)’s May on-time arrival rate was 86.2% and the company completed 99.9% of flights. Company shares trade at 6 times its 2014 earnings, and estimated growth for 2014 is around 14% and 24% for the next five years. Full year earnings-per-share for 2013 are expected to be $2.65 and are estimated to increase to $3.04 in 2014.

JetBlue has flat profits but customers like service

JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ:JBLU) reported profits for the twelfth consecutive quarter on Mar. 31, 2013. Net income was $14 million, or $0.05 per diluted share versus first quarter 2012 net income of $30 million, or $0.09 per diluted share. The drop in net income was attributed to decreases in demand related to Hurricane Sandy in the Northeast and higher-than-expected maintenance costs.

JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ:JBLU)’s load factor for May 2013 was 85.1%, 0.3% higher than last year’s 84.8%. The company completed 99.6% of flights and had an on-time performance rate of 80.3%. EPS for 2013 is estimated at $.52 and for 2014 $.70. With an estimated growth rate of 34% for 2014 and 26% for the next five years, the current share price seems reasonable at 9 times its 2014 earnings. Another positive note for the company — a recent survey by ACSI gave the airline a score of 80 out of a possible 100 in airline customer satisfaction.


While it’s hard to determine if safety issues with cruise lines will create an influx of airline passengers, the Harris poll shows that they do cause some consumers to pause and consider other leisure travel options. The three companies mentioned are good buys right now based on their projected long-term growth rates and the improving consumer demand that has airlines increasing their buying orders for new planes. Investors should look out for rising fuel prices and any signs of the economy cooling down, however, as these are factors that can negatively impact airline results.

The article Is Flying More Worry-Free than Cruising? originally appeared on and is written by Eileen Rojas.

Eileen Rojas has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Eileen is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network — entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.

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