Ryanair Holdings plc (RYAAY - Free Report) reported impressive traffic figures for June owing to low air fares. Notably, traffic increased 7% year over year to 12.6 million in the month. In fact, the passenger count in June was the highest so far (April, May and June) at Ryanair in fiscal 2019. Passenger count in April and May were 12.3 million and 12.5 million, respectively. We note that Ryanair’s fiscal year ends on Mar 31.
Coming back to the June traffic report, load factor (% of seats filled by passengers) came in at an impressive 96% buoyed by strong demand for air travel. The metric improved from the May 2018 reading of 95%. However, load factor was flat on a year-over-year basis.
The impressive June traffic report provides some relief to this European low-cost carrier, which has been struggling with labor-related issues for quite some time. Ryanair’s pilots, based in Ireland, are scheduled to go on a 24-hour strike on Jul 12 in protest against management’s approach toward transfers between the carrier’s European and African bases. The strike, if it materializes, might hamper travel plans of many passengers as Jul 12 marks the beginning of the traditional holiday fortnight in Northern Ireland.
Adding to its woes, Ryanair ‘s cabin staff in Belgium, Italy, Portugal and Spain will go on strike on Jul 25 and 26 against management inaction as far as their demands pertaining to higher pay and better working conditions are concerned. What is worse is that more strikes may follow if the labor unrest is not resolved.
The ongoing labor problems have been responsible for the 8.4% decline in the Ryanair stock over the last three months.
Three-Month Price Performance
Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider
Ryanair has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
Better-ranked stocks in the in the broader Transportation sector are GATX Corporation (GATX - Free Report) , Norfolk Southern Corporation (NSC - Free Report) and CSX Corporation (CSX - Free Report) . All three stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Shares of GATX, Norfolk Southern and CSX have rallied 14.7%, 18.7% and 18.3%, respectively, over the last three months.
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