Ryanair Holdings Plc (RYAAY - Free Report) incurred a loss of 74 cents per share in fourth-quarter fiscal 2019 (ended Mar 31, 2019), wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 64 cents. The company had reported earnings of 30 cents per share a year ago.
Revenues came in at $1,451 million compared with $1,623 million recorded in the year-ago period.
Fiscal 2019 Results
In fiscal 2019, revenues increased 6% to €7.15 billion on account of a 19% increase in ancillary revenues to €2.4 billion. In euro terms, Ryanair’s full-year profit (excluding LaudaMotion) declined 29% to €1.02 billion due to a 6% decline in airfares. Unit costs, excluding fuel, rose 5% due to higher labor costs among other factors.
Ryanair’s below-par performance disappointed investors. Consequently, the stock declined around 2% at the close of business on May 20.
Meanwhile, fiscal 2019 traffic (excluding LaudaMotion) increased 7% to 139 million, while load factor improved to 96% from 95% a year ago. Including LaudaMotion, traffic grew 9% to 142 million.
Capital expenditures during the period were in excess of €1.5 billion. So, net debt inched up slightly year over year to €450 million.
During fiscal 2019, the company returned more than €560 million to its shareholders through buybacks. Ryanair has also cleared a new buyback program worth €700 million, which will commence later this week and run through the next 9-12 months.
Fiscal 2020 Outlook
Traffic is expected to increase 8% to 153 million in fiscal 2020. Fuel costs are anticipated to escalate by €460 million and push up total expenses. Non-fuel unit costs are projected to ascend 2% due to delivery delays of the B737 MAX aircraft and other factors. Notably, the carrier has delayed the delivery of first 5 B737-MAX aircraft till winter. Group profits are estimated to be largely flat year over year, assuming a 3% rise in revenue per pax.
During the first half of the year, bookings are expected to be slightly better than last year, while fares are anticipated to be lower than the year-ago figure.
Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider
Ryanair has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
Some better-ranked stocks in the broader Transportation sector are SkyWest, Inc. (SKYW - Free Report) , GATX Corporation (GATX - Free Report) and Trinity Industries, Inc. (TRN - Free Report) . While SkyWest sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), GATX and Trinity carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Shares of SkyWest and GATX have gained more than 32% and 7%, respectively, so far this year. Meanwhile, the Trinity stock has an impressive earnings history, having outperformed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the last four quarters, the average beat being 10.9%.
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