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Alaska Air Group Delivers Impressive August Traffic Data

Zacks

Alaska Air Group Inc. ALK has reported traffic numbers for August. Following the traffic release, shares of the company inched up 1.7% to $75.59 at the close of business on Sep 11. Previously, the stock was hurt by the back-to-back impact of Harvey and Irma. However, Irma’s weaker- than-expected impact on Florida and its downgrade to a category 4, buoyed airline stocks, and Alaska Air Group was no exception.

Traffic, measured in revenue passenger miles (RPMs), increased 5.8% to 4.78 billion from 4.52 billion recorded a year ago. On a year-over-year basis, consolidated capacity (or available seat miles/ASMs) rose 5.5% to 5.55 billion. Also, the load factor or percentage of seats filled by passengers inched up to 86.2% from 85.8% recorded in August 2016, as traffic growth exceeded capacity expansion.

At the end of the first eight months of 2017, Alaska Air Group generated RPMs of 34.91 billion (up 6.3% year over year) and ASMs of 41.15 billion (up 5.5% year over year). Load factor stood at 84.8%, compared with 84.2% in the first eight months last year.

The carrier was also in the news recently when it announced a customer-friendly deal with Singapore Airlines. The two will form a codeshare agreement to allow sharing of flights, i.e., a passenger can avail any flight operated by either companies covered under the agreement, irrespective of the flight number. (read more: Alaska Air Group Arm-Singapore Airlines Deal to Aid Flyers).


Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Alaska Air Group currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Some better-ranked stocks in airline space are Deutsche Lufthansa AG DLAKY, Air France-KLM SA AFLYY and SkyWest, Inc. SKYW. While Deutsche Lufthansa sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Air France-KLM and SkyWest carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Shares of Deutsche Lufthansa and Air France-KLM have soared more than 100% in a year, while SkyWest shares have surged 33.6% over the same time frame.

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