In the past week, Latin American carrier — GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes S.A. (GOL - Free Report) — reported wider-than-expected loss per share for the second quarter of 2018. Results were hurt by high costs.
On the non-earnings front, the likes of Delta Air Lines, Inc. (DAL - Free Report) , Allegiant Travel Company (ALGT - Free Report) and Hawaiian Holdings, Inc.’s (HA - Free Report) subsidiary — Hawaiian Airlines — released their respective traffic numbers for July. While Delta and Hawaiian Airlines reported an increase in load factor (percentage of seats filled with passengers) as traffic growth outpaced capacity expansion, the metric declined at Allegiant due to capacity overexpansion.
An expansion-related update from United Continental Holdings, Inc. (UAL - Free Report) also grabbed headlines over the past five trading days.
(Read the last Airline Stock Roundup for Aug 1, 2018)
Recap of the Past Week’s Most Important Stories
1. GOL Linhas incurred a loss (excluding $1.66 from non-recurring items) of 45 cents per share in second-quarter 2018, wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 27 cents. Meanwhile, net revenues totaled $656 million (R$2.4 billion). Average fares increased 6% in the quarter. While net passenger revenue per available seat kilometers (ASK) climbed 8%, total revenue per ASK grew 6.7% on a year-over-year basis. Cost per ASK increased 5.9% owing to rising fuel costs (read more: GOL Linhas Q2 Loss Wider on High Costs, '18 View Dull).
2. At Delta, consolidated traffic, measured in revenue passenger miles (RPMs), came in at 22.6 billion, up 4% year over year. Consolidated capacity (or available seat miles/ASMs) climbed 3.5% to 25.51 billion on a year-over-year basis. Strong demand for air travel led to the increase in traffic (read more: Delta Air Lines July Load Factor Up on Higher Demand).
Delta carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
3. Allegiant Travel Company reported mixed traffic numbers for July. Traffic for the total system (including scheduled service and fixed fee contract), measured in revenue passenger miles (RPMs), rose 11.3% on a year-over-year basis to 1.31 billion. System capacity, calculated in available seat miles (ASMs), expanded 12.1% to 1.51 billion. However, load factor contracted 60 basis points year over year to 86.8% (read more: Allegiant's July Traffic Rises, Load Factor Falls).
4. At Hawaiian Airlines, RPM increased 5.1% to around 1.55 billion. ASM also climbed 5% to 1.78 billion in July. Load factor improved 10 basis points (bps) to 87.1% in the month. In the first seven months of 2018, the company witnessed a 5.8% rise in RPMs to 9.92 billion. ASMs too rose 5.3% to 11.53 billion in the same period. As a result, load factor increased 40 bps to 86%. Additionally, passenger count rose 5.3% year over year.
5. In a bid to strengthen its footprint in Israel, United Continental announced its decision to operate non-stop flights connecting the company’s hub at Washington Dulles International Airport to Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport. The new route will be operative from May 22, 2019, assuming government clearance. Through this move, United Continental aims to become the first U.S. carrier to operate flights connecting the cities. In fact, the Washington Dulles-Tel Aviv flight will be the fourth one for United Continental to Israel. Currently, this Chicago-based carrier operates flights (twice-daily) between New York/Newark and Tel Aviv apart from offering non-stop services (on a daily basis) between San Francisco and Tel Aviv.
The following table shows the price movement of the major airline players over the last week and during the past six months.
The table above shows that all airline stocks traded in the green over the last week leading to a 1.7% increase in the NYSE ARCA Airline Index. Over the course of six months, the sector tracker has decreased 4.7% due to headwinds like high fuel costs.
What's Next in the Airline Space?
Investors will look forward to July traffic reports from the likes of United Continental, Alaska Air Group, Inc. (ALK - Free Report) and JetBlue Airways Corporation (JBLU - Free Report) in the coming days.
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