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Copa Holdings' (CPA) November Traffic Declines From 2019 Levels

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Copa Holdings’ (CPA - Free Report) traffic, measured in revenue passenger miles (RPMs), declined 17.3% to 1.41 billion in November 2021 from the comparable period in 2019. The downside was primarily due to the coronavirus-induced lower air-travel demand from the pre-pandemic levels (2019).

Thanks to the tepid demand, capacity — measured in available seat miles (ASMs) — fell 16.3% from the 2019 level to 1.66 billion. With traffic declining more than the amount of capacity contraction, load factor (percentage of seats filled with passengers) deteriorated 100 basis points to 84.5% in November.

The picture looks rosier on a month-over-month basis. Backed by increased inoculation programs, air-travel demand is continuously improving. The Panama-based carriers’ November traffic statistics suggest an increase of 9.3% on a month-over-month basis. Meanwhile, capacity climbed 6% month over month. Since traffic expansion outweighed capacity growth, load factor improved 250 basis points in November from October levels.

The gradually improving traffic scenario is likely to drive Copa Holdings’ fourth-quarter 2021 results.  

Zacks Rank & Other Stocks to Consider

Copa Holdings’ currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 (Strong Buy) Rank stocks here.

Investors interested in the broader Zacks Transportation sector can also consider stocks like Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings Inc. (KNX - Free Report) , Landstar System, Inc. (LSTR - Free Report) and C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc. (CHRW - Free Report) .

The long-term expected earnings per share (three to five years) growth rate for Knight-Swift is pegged at 15%. KNX is benefitting from an improvement in the adjusted operating ratio. Notably, the adjusted operating ratio improved to 82.8% in the first nine months of 2021 compared with 86.6% reported in the first nine months of 2020. In third-quarter 2021, the metric improved to 81.3% from 83.9% a year ago.  

This uptick in adjusted operating ratios is primarily driven by higher revenues in the Trucking, Logistics and Intermodal segments. Lower the value of the metric, the better. KNX has surged 49.8% in the past year. Knight-Swift carries a Zacks Rank #2.

The long-term expected earnings per share (three to five years) growth rate for Landstar is pegged at 12%. LSTR is benefitting from gradual recovery in the economy and freight market conditions in the United States.

LSTR’s top and the bottom line increased substantially in each quarter from the third quarter of 2020, owing to robust revenues in the primary segment — truck transportation. LSTR has surged 32.9% in the past year. Landstar carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

The long-term expected earnings per share (three to five years) growth rate for C.H. Robinson is pegged at 9%. CHRW benefits from higher pricing and volumes across most of its service lines. Total revenues jumped 42.4% year over year in the first nine months of 2021, with higher revenues across all the segments.

CHRW’s measures to reward its shareholders are encouraging. Driven by the tailwinds, the stock has moved up 14.1% in the past year. C.H. Robinson sport a Zacks Rank #1.