Allegiant Travel Company (ALGT - Free Report) reported impressive traffic numbers for June. Traffic for the total system (including scheduled service and fixed fee contract), measured in revenue passenger miles (RPMs), increased 9.5% on a year-over-year basis to 1.22 billion. System capacity, calculated in available seat miles (ASMs), improved 8.8% to 1.43 billion.
With traffic growth outpacing capacity expansion, load factor (percentage of seats filled with passengers) inched up 60 basis points year over year to 85.2%
Allegiant’s passenger count rose 11% in the month. While its system-wide average fuel cost per gallon was approximately $2.41.
With oil prices trending upward, high costs are a major headwind for the entire airline industry. Notably, crude oil price is currently hovering at around $74 a barrel. Since costs pertaining to fuel comprise a major chunk of airline expenses, rise in the same has potential to affect the company’s bottom line. The carrier’s earnings in the second quarter (results should be out on Jul 25) could be pressurized due to this. Estimated average fuel cost for the period is $2.38 per gallon, higher than $1.70 reported a year ago.
Moreover, shares of the company still seem to be impacted by the CBS News report’s allegations that Allegiant’s poor safety standard was responsible for around 100 serious mechanical incidents during the January 2016-October 2017 time frame. The accusations are being investigated. Notably, the stock has declined 14.1% over the last three months.
Zacks Rank & Key Picks
Allegiant has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
Some better-ranked stocks in the broader Transportation sector are GATX Corporation (GATX - Free Report) , Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (AAWW - Free Report) and Expeditors International of Washington, Inc. (EXPD - Free Report) . While GATX and Expeditors carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), Atlas Air Worldwide sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Shares of GATX, Atlas Air Worldwide and Expeditors have rallied more than 23%, 24% and 27%, respectively, in a year.
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