American Airlines, JetBlue and Alaska Air all reported profitable fourth quarters, although JetBlue and Alaska disappointed investors.
JetBlue reported earnings per share of 22 cents, a bit better than the 20 cents forecast by analysts surveyed by Refinitiv. But it also warned it expects a loss of between 35 cents to 45 cents a share, far worse than the forecast of a 4 cent a share loss.
JetBlue also was the first US airline to report a full-year loss. While most airlines enjoyed a return to profitability due to a strong rebound in demand and fares across the industry, JetBlue reported losses in the first half of the year as it wage a bidding war for Spirit Airlines.
American Airlines, which had given bullish guidance for the quarter earlier this month, exceeded the raised expectations, earning $1.17 a share, 3 cents better than forecast and enough to give it a profit for the year.
Alaska Air reported EPS of 92 cents, 2 cents less than forecasts.
Shares of Alaska were narrowly lower in pre-market trading on the miss, while JetBlue was off 1% on its guidance. American shares were up 1%
All airlines had reported losses a year earlier as the surge in Covid cases at that time depressed demand for travel. Those losses continued in the first quarter of 2022. But the industry has been broadly profitable since then, although Southwest reported a large fourth quarter loss earlier Thursday on its December service meltdown.