Spirit Airlines soars after boosting 3Q outlook

Spirit Airlines shares hit all-time high as company lifts 3Q outlook on strong traffic

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Spirit Airlines Inc. is soaring Friday, briefly reaching an all-time high, as the company lifted its third-quarter outlook following strong September traffic results.

On Thursday Spirit said that its traffic climbed 28.8 percent last month, as measured in revenue passenger miles, or how many miles all paying passengers flew during the month. Its capacity, or available seat miles, rose 24.9 percent. Load factor — or how full the planes were — climbed 2.5 percentage points to 84.7 percent.

Spirit's performance was helped by an increase in departures, which were up 13 percent compared with the prior-year period.

The company said it now expects third-quarter revenue per available seat mile rose 8 percent to 9 percent because of stronger close-in bookings late in the period. It previously forecast a mid-single-digit increase.

Stephen Trent of Citi Investment Research boosted Spirit to "Buy" from "Neutral" and raised its price target to $42 from $38, citing its September traffic performance and revised third-quarter guidance.

The company's stock surged $4.38, or 13 percent, to $38.44 in afternoon trading. That was an all-time high, according to FactSet.

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