NEW YORK – JetBlue Airways Corp. (JBLU) Wednesday lowered its estimate for third-quarter earnings, citing disruptions from Hurricanes Charley and Frances.
The low-cost carrier did not provide a specific forecast, but Chief Executive David Neeleman (search) said: "While we continue to expect to report a solidly profitable third quarter, we now anticipate that earnings will be significantly lower than our previous estimates."
Shares of the New York-based airline were down 1.7 percent, or 40 cents, to $22.67.
JetBlue also attributed the lower-than-expected results to higher fuel prices and weak near-term bourricanes and worries of a possible new storm.
Wall Street analysts, on average, were expecting JetBlue to earn 19 cents per share, according to Reuters Estimates.
JetBlue also said that August traffic rose 31 percent from a year ago, but its load factor for the month, which measures the proportion of available seats sold, dropped 2.3 percentage points to 89.3 percent.
On Tuesday, AirTran Holdings Inc. (AAI) had said it expects to post a third-quarter loss due to Hurricane Frances (search), which hit Florida over the Labor Day weekend and affected about 51 percent of the airline's traffic.
AirTran gets one-third of its revenue from Florida and had to cancel hundreds of flights over the weekend, traditionally a strong time for travel.