March 4, 2024

Brighton Journal

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Spirit Airlines' earnings (save) for the fourth quarter of 2023

Spirit Airlines' earnings (save) for the fourth quarter of 2023

The failed merger has helped push Spirit's shares down more than 57% so far this year, as investors worry about Spirit's financial future. The carrier's looming debt payments have sparked some calls that the airline may be forced to restructure, or even liquidate.

On Thursday, Spirit reiterated that it “is aware of its 2025 and 2026 debt maturities and is evaluating options to address these maturities when the time is appropriate.”

The budget airline has spent months looking for ways to cut costs, including adjusting its network and changing its aircraft delivery schedule.

“The Spirit team is 100% clear and focused on the adjustments we are currently deploying and will continue to make throughout 2024 to return us to cash flow generation and profitability,” CEO Ted Christie said in an earnings statement.

However, Spirit still expects to lose money in the first quarter, and said it expects revenue of between $1.25 billion and $1.28 billion, above analysts' expectations.

Here's what Spirit reported on The fourth quarter Compared to what Wall Street expected, based on average estimates compiled by LSEG, formerly known as Refinitiv:

  • Adjusted loss per share: $1.36 vs. $1.46 expected
  • Total revenue: $1.32 billion compared to the expected $1.32 billion

Spirit's net loss of $183.65 million, or $1.68 per share, is an improvement from a net loss of $270.66 million, or $2.49 per share, during the same quarter last year. Adjusting for one-time items, the carrier reported a net loss of $1.36 per share.

Revenue fell 5% to $1.32 billion.

The carrier plans for capacity in 2024 to be flat to mid-single digits compared to last year, and to increase 1.5% in the first quarter, Spirit said.

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Weaker domestic airfares have had a major impact on budget airlines, which are largely focused on American Airlines. The extra capacity has led them to discount flights, especially during off-peak periods.

Spirit said fare revenue per passenger fell 25% in the fourth quarter to $48.24, while non-ticket revenue per passenger, which includes Spirit's myriad fees such as seat assignment and carry-on bags, fell 6.6% to $66.60. Passenger flight segments rose 12% in the fourth quarter compared to the same period in 2022.

Spirit said it expects to ground an average of 25 Airbus planes this year due to Pratt & Whitney engine problems..

These disruptions are expected to reach a peak when 40 aircraft are grounded in December. Spirit said it expects its fleet to have 215 aircraft by the end of the year.

The Miramar, Florida-based airline again said that talks on compensation with Pratt & Whitney, a unit of RTX, had made progress and that “although an agreement has not yet been reached, the company believes the amount of compensation it will receive.” “It will be an important source of liquidity over the next two years.”