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Spirit Advances to Record After Boosting Revenue Forecast

Spirit Airlines Inc. surged to a record after the discount carrier said a benchmark revenue gauge climbed more than forecast last quarter amid higher bookings.

The shares jumped 15 percent to $39.11 at the close in New York, the highest closing price since the airline’s initial public offering in May 2011. Spirit has more than doubled this year compared with a 19 percent gain for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

Revenue from each seat flown a mile increased as much as 9 percent in the third quarter, the Miramar, Florida-based company said yesterday in a filing. Spirit in September projected growth in the mid-single digit range. Traffic last month also surged 29 percent compared with a year earlier, according to the filing.

The guidance prompted Stephen Trent, an analyst at Citigroup Inc. in New York, to upgrade his rating on the shares to buy from hold. Duane Pfennigwerth, an analyst at Evercore Partners, boosted his price target to $45 a share from $41 and raised his third-quarter profit forecast.

“Results like this should be increasingly hard to ignore and, in our view, Spirit should see multiple expansion over time,” Pfennigwerth, who rates the shares overweight, said in a note yesterday.

Spirit is scheduled to report quarterly results on Oct. 30.

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