Alaska Airlines stock nosedives on high fuel, low earnings

Rising fuel costs overwhelmed an increase in passenger traffic and cut into Alaska Air Group’s second quarter earnings. Alaska Air Group is the parent company of Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air.

Yesterday from its Sea-Tac headquarters the company reported second quarter earnings 17% below last year’s, or a little over $46 million this year compared to $55.5 million in 2006.

Passenger traffic was up over 4%. But in addition to higher fuel costs, the company says it has encountered new competition in its Mexican markets, a delay in converting some aircraft to combined passenger and freight configurations and an unusually high number of engine overhauls at Horizon.

The report drove Alaska stock down slightly over 10% to a 52 week low of $24.31.

Len Anderson, APRN – Anchorage