Alaska Airlines 2024 forecast tops estimates after loss from Boeing Max grounding

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An Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 9 taxis at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on March 25, 2024 in Seattle, Washington. 
Stephen Brashear | Getty Images

Alaska Airlines forecast second-quarter and full-year earnings well ahead of estimates on Thursday thanks to strong travel demand, despite a first-quarter loss stemming from a midair blowout of a door plug on a nearly new Boeing 737 Max 9 in January.

Alaska forecast adjusted earnings per share of between $2.20 and $2.40, above the $2.12 analysts polled by LSEG expected. For 2024, the carrier expects earnings ranging from $3.25 to $5.25 a share, well above the average of $4.36.

The company’s shares were up more than 3% in premarket trading.

Delta and United have also forecast strong travel demand for 2024 will drive earnings.

The airline received $162 million from Boeing for the Jan. 5 accident, which caused the Federal Aviation Administration to briefly ground the planes. Alaska said it expects additional compensation from the manufacturer.

The Seattle-based carrier reported a net loss of $132 million, or $1.05 a share for the first quarter, down from $142 million, or $1.11 a share a year earlier. It also reported revenue of $2.2 billion for the first quarter, slightly above the estimated $2.19 billion analysts polled by LSEG expected and 2% above last year.

Adjusting for one-time items, Alaska posted a net loss of 62 cents a share, less than the $1.05 per-share loss analysts were expecting, according to LSEG.

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