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Copa Holdings' (CPA) December Traffic Drops From 2019 Levels

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Copa Holdings’ (CPA - Free Report) traffic, measured in revenue passenger miles (RPMs), declined 13.5% to 1.57 billion in December 2021 from the comparable period in 2019. The downside was primarily due to coronavirus-led lower air-travel demand from the pre-pandemic levels (2019).

Owing to tepid demand, capacity — measured in available seat miles (ASMs) — fell 11.8% from the 2019 level to 1.87 billion. With traffic declining more than the amount of capacity contraction, load factor (percentage of seats filled with passengers) deteriorated 160 basis points (bps) to 83.8% in December.

The picture looks rosier on a month-over-month basis. Backed by increased inoculation programs, air-travel demand is continuously improving. The Panama-based carrier’s December traffic statistics suggest an increase of 11.5% on a month-over-month basis. Meanwhile, capacity climbed 12.5% month over month. Since capacity expansion outweighed traffic growth, load factor deteriorated 70 bps in December from November levels.

The gradually improving traffic scenario is likely to drive Copa Holdings’ fourth-quarter 2021 results (releasing on Feb 9, 2022).

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Copa Holdings currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Some better-ranked stocks in the broader Zacks Transportation sector are J.B. Hunt Transport Services (JBHT - Free Report) , FedEx Corporation (FDX - Free Report) and Schneider National (SNDR - Free Report) .

The expected long-term earnings per share (three-to-five years) growth rate for J.B. Hunt is pegged at 15%. J.B. Hunt is benefiting from strong performances by all segments. The Dedicated Contract Services (DCS) unit is being aided by fleet-productivity improvement and a rise in average revenue-producing trucks. The Integrated Capacity Solutions (ICS) unit is gaining from a favorable customer freight mix as well as higher contractual and spot rates.

JBHT’s measures to reward shareholders are encouraging. Driven by the tailwinds, the stock has rallied 34.8% in the past year. J.B. Hunt currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

The expected long-term earnings per share (three-to-five years) growth rate for FedEx is pegged at 12%. FedEx is benefitting from a surge in e-commerce demand amid the pandemic.

FDX exited first-quarter fiscal 2022 with cash and equivalents of $6,853 million, much higher than its current debt of $125 million. Driven by the tailwinds, the stock has moved up 2.1% in the past year. FedEx currently carries a Zacks Rank #2.

The expected long-term earnings per share (three-to-five years) growth rate for Schneider is pegged at 20.7%. Schneider  benefits from strong performance in the Intermodal and Logistics units.

SNDR’s third-quarter cash balance is encouraging. Driven by the tailwinds, the stock has moved up 16.1% in the past year. Schneider currently carries a Zacks Rank #2.