Talking Numbers

This could change business travel

Talking Numbers

JetBlue unveils plans for premium seating on some of its planes today. Is JetBlue a first class stock ready to take off or is it stuck on the runway indefinitely?

JetBlue’s maintenance costs are going up while the airfares it charges passengers are going down. That means the airline’s profits are going down.

(Read more: JetBlue 2Q profit falls along with lower fares)

So, what can JetBlue do to change that around? They think they’ve found an answer: go after business travelers whose plane tickets are paid by the passengers’ employers.

The airline is announcing today the creation of a premium section on a couple of its transcontinental flights. Passengers flying from either San Francisco or Los Angeles to New York can get a cabin-like “suite” that includes seats that can become lie-flat beds in an instant. While premium seats have been in air for JetBlue for some time, today we finally learn the details.

The company is trying to break out of the vice squeezing them on both ends. On one end are United, Delta, and Virgin Atlantic offering premium classes for high-end business travelers. On the other are the likes of Spirit, providing cutthroat prices in return for the barebones service.

JetBlue is hoping to hit a sweet spot with travels from small businesses whose companies may want their executives to travel with a little more luxury but without paying top prices for it.

(Watch video: Executive Edge: JetBlue goes first class)

But, are investors now paying top prices for JetBlue’s stock? Shares may be up 26% in the last 12 months but it’s been a bumpy ride over the last five years, with share falling below $3 in 2009. It’s now above $6.50, but nowhere near its 2003 highs of $30.

Talking Numbers contributors Enis Taner, Global Macro Editor at RiskReversal.com, and Richard Ross, Global Technical Strategist at Auerbach Grayson, look at the fundamentals and technicals of JetBlue.

Is JetBlue a first class stock ready to take off or is it stuck on the runway indefinitely? Watch the video above to find out what two pros think.

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