Hawaiian Airlines’ fuel costs plunged nearly 35 percent in the first quarter and helped the state’s largest carrier earn $25.9 million that easily flew past analysts’ estimates.
Parent company Hawaiian Holdings Inc., benefiting from the large drop in jet fuel over the past year, said after that market closed Thursday that it had earnings per share of 40 cents, topping the consensus estimate of 33 cents. In the year-earlier period, Hawaiian lost $5.1 million, or 10 cents a share.
Aircraft fuel, including taxes and delivery, were $111.3 million in the January-March period compared with $171.1 million a year ago.
Revenue rose 2.9 percent to $540.3 million from $524.9 million.
“Producing these record results for the seasonally weak first quarter demonstrates the growing strength of our business,” said Mark Dunkerley, president and CEO of Hawaiian. “Low fuel prices and strong demand across our network combined to more than offset the impact of a strengthening U.S. dollar, declining fuel surcharges in some markets and an increase in capacity between North America and Hawaii.”
As a result of the strong quarter, Hawaiian announced that it was implementing a $100 million share repurchase program.