Jet Blue Case Study

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Background: In April 2002, Jet Blue Airways took the decision to raise additional capital through a public equity offering during a sensitive period in the US airline industry. However, JetBlue strategy- new aircraft, low fares, high quality of customer service- all supported its solid earnings growth over the first two years of its existence. Management is trying to set a price for the new shares. Is the current filing price range of $22 to $24 a share appropriate? Why does JetBlue want to go public too early and during the worst period of the airline industry? Management: JetBlue, the low-fare airline has a skilled management team. David Neeleman, the CEO, has extensive experience with airlines start-ups: managed low-fare flights developed the e-ticketing system when working with a couple of other airlines including Southwest Airlines. JetBlue has a modeled its business similarly to Southwest which is very profitable. It has also developed a strong brand based on a high quality of customer service and low-fare air tickets. Management was able to keeps its operating costs low (fuel efficient fleet and only one model of aircraft) and profits high. The strong financial performance caught investors’ attention leading an excess of demand for the 5.5 million shares planned for the IPO. Analysis: Despite all the problems in the US airline industry, JetBlue managed to significantly increase its profits. JetBlue was able to grow its revenues to over 320 million in 2001, compared with a $21.2 million operating loss on $104.6 million in revenue the year before. JetBlue recorded a decent profit margin of 70% in 2001. Financial earnings of the company are presented in Exhibit 1. JetBlue plan to go public could be explained by the fact that since the company is doing well, venture capital wants to cash out now. Using the discounted free cash flow for equity

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