Hawaiian Holdings, Inc.’s (HA - Free Report) wholly owned subsidiary Hawaiian Airlines reported traffic figures for February. Traffic (measured in Revenue Passenger Miles or RPMs) increased 2.3% to 1.26 billion in the month. Available Seat Miles (ASMs) also climbed 2.8% to 1.49 billion in the period. Load factor (percentage of seats filled by passengers) contracted 30 basis points (bps) to 84.5% as traffic growth was outpaced by capacity expansion.
During the first two months of 2019, the carrier recorded a 3.6% rise in RPMs while ASMs increased 3.7%. As a result, load factor slipped 10 bps. Additionally, passenger count slid 2.3% on a year-to-date basis. It also dipped 3.3% in February.
Apart from registering disappointing traffic numbers, the stock recently suffered a decline of 10.9% on Southwest Airlines’ decision to commence operations to Hawaii from Mar 17, 2019 onward. With Hawaiian Airlines largely dependent on air travel demand to Hawaii, Southwest Airlines’ entry in its primary market is likely to intensify competition and in turn, hamper its performance. The carrier seems to be still burdened by this issue as shares of the company closed at $25.88 on Mar 7, down 1.2%.
Zacks Rank & Key Picks
Hawaiian Holdings carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the same space are Azul (AZUL - Free Report) , Air China Ltd. (AIRYY - Free Report) and SkyWest, Inc. (SKYW - Free Report) , each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Shares of Azul and Air China have rallied more than 66% and 11%, respectively, in the past six months. Meanwhile, the SkyWest stock flaunts a stellar earnings record, having outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the preceding four reported quarters, the average being 16.9%.
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