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GOL Linhas (GOL) March Traffic and Load Factor Increase

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Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes SA (GOL - Free Report) recently reported impressive traffic numbers for the month of March. According to the update, consolidated traffic – measured in revenue passenger kilometers (RPK) – improved 11.8% to 2.9 billion in Mar 2017 on a year-over-year basis. International and domestic RPK in the month improved 1.7% and 13.2% respectively.

Consolidated capacity (or available seat kilometers/ASKs) expanded 5.8% year over year to 3.8 billion. This was mainly because of an increase of 6.8% in domestic capacity. The metric, however, contracted 1.6% on the international front.

Another important metric- load factor – percentage of seats filled by passengers – rose 410 basis points to 77.3% (on a consolidated basis) in Mar 2017. This was because traffic expanded while capacity contracted, thereby leading to packed planes. The company, which competes with the likes of Copa Holdings (CPA - Free Report) and LATAM Airlines Group in the Latin American space, recorded 4.5% reduction in number of seats in March, while volume of departures decreased 4.7%.

At the end of the first quarter of 2017, consolidated RPK was up 0.7% while ASK slipped 2%. Load factor for the same period improved 210 basis points to 79.6%. Detailed first quarter results will be out on May 10.

Price Performance

Shares of GOL Linhas have performed well lately, easily outperforming the Zacks categorized Transportation-Airline industry. The stock has appreciated 79.1% compared with the industry’s gain of 2.6% over the last three months.

The impressive traffic results are a further positive for the stock.

Zacks Rank & Key Pick

GOL Linhas currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). An equally well-ranked stock in the transportation space is Aegean Marine Petroleum . You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Shares of Aegean Marine Petroleum gained over 19% on a year-to-date basis.

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