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Allegiant Down on Dismal Load Factor Performance in October


Allegiant Travel Company ALGT reported traffic numbers for October. Traffic for the total system — including scheduled service and fixed fee contract — measured in revenue passenger miles (RPMs), increased 14.6% on a year-over-year basis to 897.65 million. System capacity, calculated in available seat miles (ASMs), improved 15.5% in the month to 1.12 billion.

With capacity growth outpacing the rise in traffic, load factor (percentage of seats filled with passengers) declined 60 basis points year over year to 80.1%. This downside seems to have displeased investors. Consequently, the stock declined 3.7% on Nov 7, to $127.65.

Allegiant’s passenger count rose 16.5% in October. Its system-wide average fuel cost per gallon was approximately $1.97 in the month.

The company estimates system-wide capacity growth for the fourth quarter of 2017 in the band of 9-13%, unchanged from its previous prediction. The metric is projected to grow further in the 10-14% range in the first quarter of 2018.

The company anticipates departures for the fourth quarter to increase in the range of 7-11%, unaltered from the previous view. For the first quarter of 2018, the metric is likely to increase in the 8-12% band.

The company’s total revenues per scheduled ASM (TRASM) view for the fourth quarter remains unchanged at a decline of 0.5-3%. This is inclusive of the negative effects of Hurricane Irma and the Las Vegas shooting. However, the airline now seems to be recouping its lost revenues with demand approaching levels prior to the Las Vegas incident.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Allegiant carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

Some better-ranked stocks in the airline space are Deutsche Lufthansa AG DLAKY, International Consolidated Airlines Group SA ICAGY and SkyWest, Inc. SKYW. While Deutsche Lufthansa and International Consolidated Airlines sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), SkyWest carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Shares of Deutsche Lufthansa, International Consolidated Airlines and SkyWest have surged more than 100%, 49% and 27%, respectively, on a year-to-date basis.

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