Shares of Spirit Airlines (NYSE:SAVE) stock were up 4.2% as of 2:10 p.m. Eastern today, rising on better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings. Here's a closer look at the final totals versus Wall Street's projections:
|Spirit Airlines||Revenue||YOY Growth||EPS||YOY Growth|
|Consensus estimate||$475.71 million||7.6%||$0.78||39.3%|
|Fiscal Q2 actuals||$474.49 million||12.9%||$0.80||42.9%|
For the full year, Spirit Airlines reported $1,931.6 million in revenue and $3.23 a share in non-GAAP profit. Analysts tracked by S&P Capital IQ were calling for $1,932.9 million and $3.21 a share, respectively.
"During 2014, we improved our customers' understanding of our Bare Fare plus Frill Control product design, which led to increased customer satisfaction, improved our financial results, and maintained a very high completion rate while improving our on-time performance by 600 basis points," said CEO Ben Baldanza in a press release.
What went right: Spirit's fleet expansion included taking delivery of seven new A320 aircraft during the quarter, leading to an 18.9% increase in available seat miles (ASM) and a 17% increase in revenue passenger miles (RPM). The resulting efficiencies helped push cost per available seat mile (CASM) down 2.9% before accounting for fuel.
What went wrong: Yet there's more work to do. Load factor dipped 1.4 percentage points as flights departed full just 84.8% of the time versus 86.2% in last year's Q4. Operating revenue per available seat mile also fell 5.1% as passenger ticket prices dipped 6.1%. Spirit remains in the early stages of putting its newest aircraft to work.
What's next: Unfortunately, Spirit Airlines didn't provide guidance in its press release. What can investors look forward to? Analysts tracked by S&P Capital IQ have the low-cost carrier generating $518.3 million in revenue and $0.99 a share in adjusted profits in the first quarter. Both figures would represent meaningful improvement over last year's Q1 results. ($437.99 million and $0.52, respectively).
Longer term, they have Spirit Airlines generating 24.52% average annual earnings growth during the next three to five years.