Zacks Industry Outlook Highlights Copa Holdings, SkyWest and International Consolidated Airlines Group

05.06.24 14:55 Uhr

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For Immediate ReleaseChicago, IL – June 5, 2024 – Today, Zacks Equity Research discusses Copa Holdings CPA, SkyWest SKYW and International Consolidated Airlines Group ICAGY.Industry: AirlinesLink: stronger-than-expected recovery of air travel demand following the end of the pandemic is supporting growth of the Zacks Transportation - Airline industry. While air travel demand is particularly strong on the leisure front, it is heartening to note that business demand has made an impressive comeback.Passenger volumes are likely to move further northward in the summer season. Per Airlines for America, U.S. airlines are anticipated to carry 271 million passengers from Jun 1 to Aug 31, 2024. The projection marks an all-time high.The latest positive update on this key industry is the bullish projection for 2024 by the International Air Transport Association or IATA despite the existing economic uncertainties. The uptick in passenger volumes contributed to IATA's increased current-year forecast for net profits compared with 2023 actuals. Given the positivity surrounding the industry, we believe betting on airline stocks like Copa Holdings, SkyWest and International Consolidated Airlines Group is a prudent move.IATA's FY24 Forecast in DetailOwing to the buoyant air travel demand scenario, IATA now expects the industry to generate a net profit of $30.5 billion in 2024 compared with $25.7 billion estimated in December last year. Net profit in 2023 was $27.4 billion. The top line in 2024 is now anticipated to be $996 billion compared with the previous estimate of $964 billion. The revised revenue forecast, a record high, indicates a 9.7% increase from the 2023 actuals.Passenger revenues are the biggest driver of the rosy projection for 2024. Per IATA, passenger revenues in 2024 are now anticipated to be $744 billion compared with the previous estimate of $717 billion. The revised revenue forecast indicates a 15.2% increase from the 2023 actuals. Per IATA, a record 4.96 billion people are likely to take to the skies in 2024.Cargo revenues in 2024 are expected to be $120 billion, which, though lower than the 2023 actuals of $138 billion, are still $19 billion higher than the 2019 actuals. The current forecast for cargo revenues also compares favorably with the earlier projection of $111 billion provided in 2023.Total costs in the current year are projected to be $936 billion, 9.4% higher than the 2023 actuals due to high fuel costs. Per IATA, the average jet fuel cost is expected to be $113.8 per barrel in 2024. The total fuel bill in 2024 is expected to be $291 billion, higher than the previous estimate of $281 billion. The current projection for the 2024 fuel bill implies that fuel expenses account for 31% of total operating costs.Driven by higher revenues, operating profit for the industry is now estimated to be $59.9 billion in 2024, well above the previous estimate of $49.3 billion. The current operating profit forecast also compares favorably with the 2023 actual.On a region-wise basis, North American carriers are expected to be the major contributors to the current-year net profit projection. They are expected to reap net profits of $14.8 billion or $13.1 per passenger this year. Reflecting the improved air travel demand scenario, passenger demand this year is likely to grow 7% year over year. European carriers are expected to reap net profits of $9 billion. The performance of carriers in regions like Latin America, the Middle East and Asia Pacific is also likely to improve, mainly owing to higher passenger volumes.3 Airline Stocks to Bet On NowGiven this encouraging backdrop, we believe airline stocks should grace one's portfolio for healthy returns. Below, we present three airline stocks having a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or #2 (Buy). Moreover, the following companies have witnessed favorable earnings estimate revisions for the current year.Latin American carrier Copa Holdings is being aided by upbeat air travel demand. We are also encouraged by Copa Holdings' initiatives to modernize its fleet.Over the past 60 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for CPA's 2024 earnings has been revised 3.6% upward. Copa Holdings currently sports a Zacks Rank #1.You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.SkyWest also sports a Zacks Rank #1 at present. The upbeat air travel demand bodes well for this St. George, UT-based regional carrier. SkyWest's fleet modernization efforts are commendable. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for SKYW's 2024 earnings has improved 6.6% over the past 60 days.SKYW has an expected earnings growth rate of more than 100% for 2024. The company delivered a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 128.09%, on average.International Consolidated Airlines Group is based in Harmondsworth, United Kingdom. The company operates under the British Airways, Iberia, Vueling, LEVEL and Aer Lingus brands.Upbeat air travel demand is aiding the company. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for ICAGY's 2024 earnings has improved 3.2% over the past 60 days. The company currently carries a Zacks Rank #2.Why Haven't You Looked at Zacks' Top Stocks? Since 2000, our top stock-picking strategies have blown away the S&P's +7.0 average gain per year. Amazingly, they soared with average gains of +44.9%, +48.4% and +55.2% per year.Today you can access their live picks without cost or obligation.See Stocks Free >>Join us on Facebook: Investment Research is under common control with affiliated entities (including a broker-dealer and an investment adviser), which may engage in transactions involving the foregoing securities for the clients of such affiliates.Media ContactZacks Investment Research800-767-3771 ext. 9339support@zacks.comhttps://www.zacks.comPast performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment sssbanking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit  for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 DaysJust released: Experts distill 7 elite stocks from the current list of 220 Zacks Rank #1 Strong Buys. They deem these tickers "Most Likely for Early Price Pops."Since 1988, the full list has beaten the market more than 2X over with an average gain of +24.2% per year. So be sure to give these hand picked 7 your immediate attention. See them now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Copa Holdings, S.A. (CPA): Free Stock Analysis Report SkyWest, Inc. (SKYW): Free Stock Analysis Report International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (ICAGY): Free Stock Analysis ReportTo read this article on click here.Zacks Investment ResearchWeiter zum vollständigen Artikel bei Zacks

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