Alaska Air’s stock climbs after narrower-than-expected loss, with cash flow turning positive in March

Shares of Alaska Air Group Inc. rallied 1.3% in premarket trading Thursday, after the air carrier reported a narrower-than-expected first-quarter loss and revenue and load factor that topped forecasts, and said cash flow turned positive in March. The net loss narrowed to $131 million, or $1.05 a share, from $232 million, or $1.89 a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding nonrecurring items, CARES payroll support and mark-to-market fuel hedge accounting adjustments, the adjusted per-share loss was $3.51, beating the FactSet loss consensus of $3.63. Total revenue fell 51% to $797 million but was above the FactSet consensus of $786.4 million. Load factor fell to 51.9% from 69.6%, but topped expectations of 48.6%, as traffic was down 49.4% while capacity declined 32.1%. The stock has run up 32.4% year to date through Wednesday, while the U.S. Global Jets ETF has climbed 14.5% and the S&P 500 has advanced 11.1%.

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