Spirit Airways shares sink after decide blocks JetBlue merger

JetBlue Airways planes are seen near Spirit Airlines planes at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on May 16, 2022.

Joe Raedle | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Shares of Spirit Airlines fell about 23% Wednesday, its second day of double-digit losses, after a judge blocked its proposed merger with JetBlue Airways.

Spirit is down roughly 60% since the decision blocking its $3.8 billion acquisition by JetBlue was handed down Tuesday, citing reduced competition. The combination would have created the country’s fifth-largest airline.

“JetBlue plans to convert Spirit’s planes to the JetBlue layout and charge JetBlue’s higher average fares to its customers,” U.S. District Court Judge William Young wrote in his decision. “The elimination of Spirit would harm cost-conscious travelers who rely on Spirit’s low fares.”

Spirit stock was trading just over $6 a share Wednesday. Wall Street analysts on average have a price target for the stock of $14 and a hold rating, according to FactSet.

The airline earlier Wednesday traded at an all-time low, sinking to $5.74 per share. It’s down more than 90% from its record high of $84.47, reached in December 2014.

Shares of JetBlue fell about 8% Wednesday and are down about 3% since the judge blocked the merger.

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