Yes, I agree that NORMALLY we should let the markets work, but this isn't a normal situation. The panic may be "normal" (although I've never seen anything this bad), but the resources of the company are certainly not normal. During the last conference call, several of the analysts were asking the company what they would do with its "excess cash"! It's now more than 3 times the company's market capitalization. And what company ever sells for 5 times LAST QUARTER'S earnings?
It's a historic opportunity to use those earnings to do what's right for shareholders. And what's right is to take that $185 million and buy back the stock. What else could the company possibly do better for its owners?
Given they do not know what future economic conditions will bring resulting in the inability to really know traffic trends and resulting cash flow, the prudent thing to do is to conserve cash to ensure they can fund their requirements. Airlines can burn cash quickly when costs increase and traffic wanes and mgt knows this (as does the market). By the way, as another reason why lcc was pushing for consolidation with the delta merger proposal, per the IR director conversation, was the airlines extreme sensitivity to economic softness and their desire to get ahead of potential domestic softness. He basically said that delta missed the boat and the stocks would be much higher if they had done the deal - who knows. Future cash flow is cloudy for both mgt and the market which is why the stock is trading at the current levels and why mgt is stuck. Tough environment to be a short term trader - unless you have been short over the past 3 months. Look long term only on this one if you are long. Need economic visibility. Even the catalyst of mergers, if they happen now, are off incredibly low price basis.