LATAM Airlines Group (LTM - Free Report) reported impressive traffic figures for August, wherein load factor (% of seats filled by passengers) improved as traffic increased while capacity contracted.
Backed by strong demand for air travel, consolidated traffic (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) came in at 10.5 billion, up 2.5% from the year-ago figure. On a year-over-year basis, consolidated capacity (measured in available seat miles/ASMs) declined 0.2% to 12.53 billion, reflecting capacity discipline. Meanwhile, consolidated load factor improved to 83.9% from 81.6% a year ago. Passenger count climbed 6.6% to 6.37 million.
In the first eight months of 2019, LATAM Airlines, which competes with the likes of GOL Linhas (GOL - Free Report) , Azul (AZUL - Free Report) and Copa Holdings (CPA - Free Report) in the Latin American aviation space, generated RPKs of 82.64 billion (up 5.4% year over year) and ASMs of 98.5 billion (up 4.6% year over year). Load factor registered an increase of 0.6 percentage points year over year to 83.9%. Passenger count at LATAM Airlines increased 7.1% in the January- August period.
CEO to Retire
In another development, LATAM Airlines announced that its long-serving chief executive officer (CEO), Enrique Cueto Plaza, will retire on Mar 31, 2020.
Plaza, who has served the Latin American carrier in the present capacity for 25 years, will be succeeded by Roberto Alvo Milosawlewitsch. Notably, Milosawlewitsch currently serves as the chief commercial officer of LATAM Airlines.
LATAM Airlines carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Today's Best Stocks from Zacks
Would you like to see the updated picks from our best market-beating strategies? From 2017 through 2018, while the S&P 500 gained +15.8%, five of our screens returned +38.0%, +61.3%, +61.6%, +68.1%, and +98.3%.
This outperformance has not just been a recent phenomenon. From 2000 – 2018, while the S&P averaged +4.8% per year, our top strategies averaged up to +56.2% per year.
See their latest picks free >>