It’s a good-news, bad-news (but mostly bad-news) kind of day for anyone invested in JetBlue (NASDAQ:JBLU). JetBlue’s third-quarter 2022 financial report indicates that the airliner achieved an important milestone. Specifically, this was JetBlue’s first quarter of adjusted positive income since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, JBLU stock is still down for the day because JetBlue’s profit didn’t live up to Wall Street’s expectations.
The story of JetBlue, like other U.S. carriers, revolves around the recovery from Covid-19. It is meaningful, then, that JetBlue achieved its first quarterly adjusted profit since the pandemic started. Justifiably, JetBlue CFO Ursula Hurley called this an “important milestone.”
However, today’s financial traders weren’t necessarily focused on that particular milestone and its significance. Rather, they seemed disappointed in JetBlue’s Q3 2022 adjusted earnings, which totaled $69 million or 21 cents per share. Analysts, in contrast, had expected JetBlue to report 24 cents per share.
What’s Happening With JBLU Stock?
By 10:30 a.m. Eastern, JBLU stock was down 5% and threatening to possibly break below the key $7 level. Note that the Covid-19 pandemic low for JetBlue shares was around this level.
This might be a surprising response since JetBlue’s Q3 2022 revenue was basically in-line with Wall Street’s expectations. Specifically, JetBlue reported third-quarter revenue of $2.562 billion, which is slightly higher than the analyst consensus estimate of $2.557 billion.
Moreover, Chief Operating Officer Joanna Geraghty seemed pleased with JetBlue’s prospects as the U.S. holiday season approaches. “We’re confident in the demand backdrop for the year-end holiday peaks,” Geraghty assured.
Whether Geraghty’s confidence is justified remains to be seen, however. “Sticky” inflation may prompt some customers to dial back their travel activity during the coming months.
Speaking of inflation, it’s worth noting that JetBlue’s Q3 2022 operating expenses per available seat mile increased 32.4% “year over three,” meaning since the comparable period of 2019. All in all, JetBlue’s investors are feeling blue today and it will be interesting to see if the company can overcome its challenges in the fourth quarter.
On the date of publication, David Moadel did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.