Spirit Airlines (NYSE:SAVE) entered last year with a ton of momentum. The budget airline generated incredible unit revenue growth in the second half of 2018, powering a return to margin expansion. Falling fuel prices represented an additional tailwind during 2019. Unfortunately, this momentum didn’t last, as operational snafus and choppy demand undermined Spirit’s profitability beginning in the spring. Back in October, Spirit Airlines reported that adjusted earnings per share fell to $1.32 in Q3 2019 from $1.47 a year earlier. Its adjusted pre-tax margin sank to 11.9% from 14.5% in the prior-year period, despite a sharp drop in fuel prices. Still, this result was better than management (and, by extension, investors) had feared. Spirit’s initial guidance for the fourth quarter was also downbeat. But based on an investor update released on Thursday, it appears that the airline’s results will come in better than feared for a second consecutive quarter.Management also projected that nonfuel unit costs would rise 3.5% to 4.5%, offsetting the airline’s fuel savings. All in all, the midpoint of Spirit’s original Q4 forecast implied adjusted EPS around $0.99, down from $1.38 a year ago.