Spirit adjusts 2014 operating margin guidance

Washington DC
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Low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines has revised downwards its first quarter operating margin, and upped its guidance for capacity increases through the year.

The Miramar, Florida-based carrier now expects a first quarter operating margin in the range of 13.2-13.7%, it says in an investors update today. This is down from the 13-14.5% range it provided in February.

Spirit is maintaining its full-year operating margin guidance in the range of 16-18%.

On the capacity front, it now expects full-year available seat miles (ASMs) to grow 17%, up slightly from the 16.7% it forecasted in February. On a quarterly basis, the airline grew ASMs by 21% in the first quarter. It estimates that capacity will increase 17.2% in the second quarter, 13.6% in the third and 17.2% in the fourth.

Adjusted cost per available seat mile (CASM) for the first quarter is forecasted to be in the 9.97-10.02 cents range, down from the 10-10.06 cents range Spirit projected in February. On a full-year basis, adjusted CASM is expected to come in at 9.79-9.85 cents, down from the 9.81-9.86 cents range Spirit provided in February.

Adjusted CASM excluding fuel for the first quarter is guided at 6.05-6.10 cents, and at 5.97-6.03 cents for the full year, says Spirit.