(Adds analyst comment, second quarter outlook)
NEW YORK, April 25 (Reuters) - U.S. budget carrier JetBlue Airways Corp reported better-than-expected first-quarter net profit on Tuesday, sending shares up in midday trading.
The airline said first-quarter net income was $85 million, or 25 cents per diluted share, down from $207 million, or 61 cents a share, in the first quarter of 2016, as fuel costs and other expenses increased.
Analysts, on average, expected profit of 23 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Forecasting the second quarter, the carrier said it expects to see its revenue per available seat mile increase between 3 percent and 6 percent year over year. JetBlue maintained its expectation full-year capacity will increase between 5.5 percent and 7.5 percent.
Shares were up 0.9 percent in midday trading.
“JetBlue’s disclosures this morning afforded a smorgasbord of investor delicacies, in our view,” JP Morgan analysts wrote, adding the airline’s forecast could lead Wall Street to raise its second-quarter earnings estimates.
First-quarter operating revenue of $1.60 billion was slightly below expectations.
JetBlue’s passenger revenue per available seat mile, a closely-watched metric, dropped 5.8 percent year over year.
Reporting by Alana Wise; Editing by Nick Zieminski