Sat, Jul. 25, 12:31 PM
- Airlines stocks ended the week on a down note, despite record profits being reported by American Airlines Group (NASDAQ:AAL), United Continental (NYSE:UAL), and Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV).
- Investors kept their sharp focus on key metric PRASM (passenger revenue per available seat mile) by turning skittish when American execs warned fare pressure will keep PRASM growth negative into 2016.
- Fares fell in May and June on an unadjusted basis as reported by the BLS, but perhaps an even bigger eye-opener was the 19% drop reported by Spirit Airlines (NASDAQ:SAVE) on average ticket revenue per flight segment - a sign of promotional pressure.
- Regulatory pressure also continues to be a larger factor. The DOT is now probing Delta Airlines (NYSE:DAL), United Continental, Southwest Airlines, and Jetblue (NASDAQ:JBLU), for possible price-gouging following the Amtrak train crash in Philadelphia. That follows a broader DOJ investigation into capacity growth collusion.
- Hedging: Though lower fuel costs continue to a major tailwind, some airlines were burned by increasing hedging activity too quickly. No-hedging American reported a 38.5% drop in fuel per available seat mile in Q2, while United Continental had to absorb a $118M hedging loss which lowered its consolidated fuel expense savings to 32% Y/Y. United said it's building up a small hedge heading into 2016 (UAL earnings call transcript).
- Related stocks: HA, ALK, ALGT, VA, RJET.
- Related ETF: JETS.
Fri, Jul. 17, 8:48 AM
- Airline fares rose 2.0% Y/Y in June on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- The average fare was 1.3% lower than the level from a year ago on an unadjusted basis.
- The increase in fares for the month follows a 5.7% jump in May.
- There's a bit of a balancing act with fares for airlines amid a DOJ probe on collusion. Though heavyweight industry execs are looking for fare stabilization and controlled capacity increases, they are very likely to keep a tight rein on their public comments. Most analysts don't think there is a smoking gun on collusion similar to the infamous taped conversations between Braniff and American execs in the 1980s.
- Related stocks: LUV, UAL, DAL, AAL, JBLU, ALK, HA, SAVE, ALGT, RJET, VA, SKYW.
- Related ETF: JETS.
- BLS CPI data
Tue, Jul. 14, 11:04 AM
- It's a topsy-turvy day for the airline sector with JetBlue (JBLU +1.5%) impressing with its June traffic numbers and Spirit Airlines (SAVE -8.5%) disappointing with guidance.
- The bigger story might be the forecast on oil prices after the Iran nuclear deal was hammered out.
- Though oil prices haven't moved off dramatically with the timing of excess supply on the market unknown, the development is a long-term consideration for airlines which are looking for a sustained period of lower jet fuel prices.
- Also on the radar, capacity concerns have been dialed back a bit over the last week, while a report yesterday on booming ancillary revenue in the sector painted a bright picture.
- Trading is mixed on Delta Air Lines (DAL +0.2%), American Airlines Group (AAL -0.8%), United Continental (UAL -0.5%), Virgin America (VA -0.4%), Allegiant Trading (ALGT -0.8%), Hawaiian Holdings (HA -0.5%), Alaska Airl Group (ALK +0.4%), Republic Airway (RJET -1.9%), and Southwest Airlines (LUV -0.4%).
- There's always the U.S. Global Jets ETF (NYSEARCA:JETS) for a broad sector play.
- Previously: Load factor impresses at JetBlue (Jul. 14 2015)
- Previously: Spirit Airlines cuts 2015 op. margin guidance; shares -4.8% (Jul. 13 2015)
Tue, Jul. 14, 8:14 AM
- JetBlue (NASDAQ:JBLU) reports revenue passenger miles rose 8.8% to 3.542B in June.
- The carrier saw departures rise 6% during the month and the average stage length increase by 0.2%.
- Capacity was up 8.0% to 4.151B available seat miles.
- June load factor +60 bps to 85.3%, a mark well-above the industry average.
- YTD load factor +100 bps to 84.9%.
- JBLU flat in premarket trading.
Thu, Jul. 9, 11:20 AM
- U.S. airlines face at least 15 antitrust legal actions over allegations of fare collusion, according to a count by The Dallas Mornings News.
- Most of the lawsuits cite public comments made by airline officials on the need to maintain capacity discipline and tacit understandings instead of documented agreements.
- Airline stocks as a group are ahead of market averages on the day.
- Related stocks: DAL, UAL, AAL, SAVE, RJET, HA, ALK, JBLU, VA, ALGT.
- Related ETF: JETS.
- Previously: Airline stocks fall; DOJ probing price collusion (Jul. 01 2015)
- Previously: Airlines' talk of "discipline" may have led to antitrust probe, experts say (Jul. 02 2015)
Wed, Jul. 1, 2:31 PM
- A DOJ spokeswoman states the agency is probing potential "unlawful coordination" between some airlines. The AP states a document obtained by the news service indicates the DOJ is "investigating whether airlines are colluding to grow at a slower pace as part of an effort to keep airfares high." No word yet on which airlines are being probed.
- Airline stocks have sold off in response. Decliners include United Continental (UAL -4.3%), American Airlines (AAL -4.1%), Southwest (LUV -4.5%), Delta (DAL -4.2%), Alaska Air (ALK -1.7%), Hawaiian Holdings (HA -4.8%), JetBlue (JBLU -5%), Spirit Airlines (SAVE -3.1%), SkyWest (SKYW -4.1%), and Virgin America (VA -1.9%).
- The U.S. Global Jets ETF (NYSE:JETS) is down 2.8%.
Tue, Jun. 30, 4:37 PM
- Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) is now the only option for travelers seeking to fly with a major U.S. carrier without paying extra for checked baggage, as JetBlue (NASDAQ:JBLU) says it will begin charging for the first checked piece of luggage.
- Fliers who booked flights before Tuesday will still check a suitcase for free, but those booking last-minute summer vacations and other trips on or after today must pay up to $25 for their first checked bag.
- "JetBlue sees it as an opportunity to unbundle the fares and offer a lower base fare to certain customers and better monetize the bag fee," a Stifel Financial analyst says.
Tue, Jun. 23, 9:25 AM
- Morgan Stanley digs into the airline sector with a wave of initiations.
- Top sector picks are Spirit Airlines (NASDAQ:SAVE), United Continental (NYSE:UAL), Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL), and Alaska Air Group (NYSE:ALK) which are set at Overweight.
- The four companies boast attractive free cash flow and EPS growth potential, according to the investment firm.
- America Airlines Group (NASDAQ:AAL) and JetBlue (NASDAQ:JBLU) are given Equal-weight ratings.
- The bear calls from MS on the group are Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) and Virgin America (NASDAQ:VA), both tagged at Underweight.
- Previously: Value plays all around in the airline sector (Jun. 20 2015)
Sat, Jun. 20, 2:45 PM
- Airlines stocks are poised for a breakout as the reality of improved profits overrides concerns on capacity growth, reasons Barron's Jack Hough.
- The publication mirrors the view of many SA commenters that there's a disconnect between valuations in the sector and the degree to which lower jet fuel prices continue to prime operating earnings.
- Take for example no-hedging American Airlines Group (NASDAQ:AAL) which is estimated to save $4B a year from the lower level of jet fuel prices. Other airlines are peeling off some hedges to reap a bigger fuel benefit each quarter.
- Efficiency for U.S. airlines is still solid with a majority of airlines reporting load factors of 80% or higher, although increased competition in some markets has pushed key metric RASM lower. The most recent read on fares came in positive.
- Also in the mix is the continued growth of service fees and consolidation benefits from mergers by legacy carriers.
- P-E ratios of below 12 (based off of 2015 estimates) are common in the sector giving investors something of a value play. Republic Airways (NASDAQ:RJET) can be nabbed with a forward earnings multiple of 6.48. JetBlue (NASDAQ:JBLU) is up 27% YTD, but only trades with a 10.5 P-E collar.
- Barron's identifies American Airlines Group, Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL), United Continental (NYSE:UAL), and Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) as four stocks that could rise 15% to 50% over the next year. If the view on the sector is spot-on - JetBlue, Virgin America (NASDAQ:VA), Hawaiian Holdings (NASDAQ:HA), Spirit Airlines (NASDAQ:SAVE), Republic Airways, Allegiant Travel (NASDAQ:ALGT), SkyWest (NASDAQ:SKYW), and Alaska Airlines Group (NYSE:ALK) should also put in gains.
- Related ETFs: JETS
Fri, Jun. 19, 10:31 AM
- Airline stocks rally off of a drop in oil prices and a week of declining concerns on unrestrained capacity growth.
- JPMorgan added to sentiment with a positive note on airline stocks in which it called the group oversold recently.
- The read on U.S. fares earlier this week was also positive.
- American Airlines Group (AAL +4.3%), United Continental (UAL +3.5%), Delta Air Lines (DAL +3%), JetBlue (JBLU +2.9%), and Hawaiian Holdings (HA +2.5%) are making the strongest gains in the sector.
- The U.S. Global Jets ETF (NYSE:JETS) is up 1.60%.
Thu, Jun. 18, 9:06 AM
- Airline fares rose 5.7% in May on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- The average fare was still down 6.6% from last year on an unadjusted basis after the sector ran off a string of months with decreases.
- Fares fell 1.3% in April and 1.7% in March.
- If the bump in fares extends it could alleviate some concerns in the industry over capacity growth.
- Related stocks: LUV, UAL, DAL, AAL, JBLU, ALK, HA, SAVE, ALGT, RJET, VA, SKYW.
- BLS CPI data
Tue, Jun. 16, 6:59 AM
- JetBlue (NASDAQ:JBLU) is considering a long-range version of the Airbus A321 that would give it the ability to enter new markets in South America and Western Europe, according to a top exec.
- The company already uses the A320 and A321 for the majority of its fleet.
- Currently, JetBlue flies into Columbia and the Caribbean, but not into Brazil.
Wed, Jun. 10, 4:22 PM
Wed, Jun. 10, 10:30 AM
- The EPA says greenhouse gases from aircraft endanger human health, a finding that begins a process to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from the aviation industry, the latest sector to be regulated under the Clean Air Act after cars, trucks and power plants.
- The endangerment finding allows the EPA to implement domestically a global carbon dioxide emissions standard being developed by the International Civil Aviation Organization; the airline industry favors a global standard over individual national standards since airlines operate all over the world and want to avoid a patchwork of rules and measures.
- GEVO, which has been working on renewable fuels for airplanes, is +3.5% today and +27% so far this month in anticipation of the EPA findings.
- Also higher are REGI +2%, SZYM +2.5%, AMRS +2%.
- Potential related stocks: AAL, UAL, SAVE, DAL, ALK, HA, SKYW, LUV, JBLU, VA
Tue, Jun. 9, 10:58 AM
- The jittery airline sector is having a volatile day once again.
- Capacity concerns have been the major focus of sellers, although the strong move higher of oil prices today is also in the background.
- American Airlines Group reported a drop in its load factor earlier as capacity growth came in ahead of revenue passenger miles.
- Though Raymond James issued a biting downgrade on American, United Continental, and Delta yesterday - some analysts such as Sterne Agee CRT's Michael Derchin think the pessimism is overdone.
- Q2 conference calls could calm fears on capacity running hot, reasons the analyst.
- A higher level of buybacks in the sector and reasonable valuations based on earnings projections are also factors.
- Sector watch: Alaska Air Group (ALK -6.4%), Southwest Airlines (LUV -5.8%), SkyWest (SKYW -3.4%), Hawaiian Holdings (HA -4.7%), Spirit Airline (SAVE -4.4%), Delta Air Lines (DAL -3.7%), Allegiant Travel (ALGT -3.6%), Republic Airways (RJET -2.9%), Virgin America (VA -2.6%), United Continental (UAL -1.8%), American Airlines Group (AAL -2%), JetBlue (JBLU -1.9%).
- The U.S. Global Jets ETF (NYSE:JETS) is down 2.96% on the day.
- Previously: American Airlines Group's capacity up 2% in May
Sat, May 30, 10:43 AM
- The airline sector has been rattled this month by an indication from Southwest Airlines of a slight increase in capacity and some RevPAR tallies below expectations.
- Concerns on pricing and capacity have held back some analysts from setting higher price targets on the group for the next year.
- Over the last year, most airline stocks have showed a high degree of correlation with oil prices despite all the other factors that impact profits in the sector.
- Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV), United Continental (NYSE:UAL), Alaska Airlines Group (NYSE:ALK), and Allegiant Travel (NASDAQ:ALGT) all had a correlation coefficient of -0.90 or lower between their daily closing share price and the level of oil. A mark of -1.0 indicates perfect negative correlation - while 0.0 indicates no correlation and +1.0 is perfect positive correlation.
- American Airlines Group (NASDAQ:AAL), Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL), JetBlue (NASDAQ:JBLU), Republic Airways (NASDAQ:RJET), and Hawaiian Airlines (NASDAQ:HA) were all at -0.80 or lower.
- Over a shorter period due to its IPO launch, the correlation coefficient on Virgin America (NASDAQ:VA) vs. oil came in at -0.733.
- The U.S. carriers marching with the most independence from oil prices were Spirit Airlines (NASDAQ:SAVE) at -0.622 and SkyWest (NASDAQ:SKYW) at -0.701.
- Pricing data and correlation coefficients
JetBlue Airways Corp is passenger airline company. The Company provides passenger airline services in the United States. Its services include Partner airlines, Getaways, Corporate, Cargo, Travel agents, Special assistance and Travel Insurance.
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