For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL – April 7, 2020 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Delta Air Lines DAL, American Airlines AAL, Ryanair Holdings RYAAY, Avianca Holdings AVH and JetBlue Airways JBLU.
Here are highlights from Monday’s Analyst Blog:
Coronavirus Ravages Air Travel: Traffic Sinks to 2-Decade Low
With the coronavirus pandemic wrecking air-travel demand, the not-so-long-ago high-flying airlines have been brought to their knees across the globe. This is because passenger revenues, the largest component of their top line, took a gigantic hit from shriveled air-travel demand.
Due to the spread of the coronavirus by geometric progression, blanket travel bans are imposed by governments across the globe. With several countries placed under lockdown, most people are debarred from taking trips in a bid to stay safe and avoid contracting the highly contagious disease from a fellow passenger.
IATA’s February Traffic Report: Reflection of a Sorry State
Per the International Air Transport Association (IATA), passenger traffic across the globe in February registered the steepest year-over-year decline in two decades. Notably, demand (measured in total revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) dropped 14.1% in the month on a year-over-year basis, signaling the sharpest monthly decrease since the dreaded 9/11 terror attacks on the United States back in 2001.
With carriers across the globe cutting capacity to compensate the extremely low-demand scenario, overall capacity (available seat kilometers or ASKs) fell 8.7% in the second month of this year. With traffic decreasing at a faster rate than capacity reduction in the month, load factor (% of seats filled by passengers) contracted 4.8 percentage points to 75.9%.
In international passenger markets, demand deteriorated 10.1% in February on a year-over-year basis. With respect to international passenger demand, the level hit the nadir since the SARS outbreak in 2003. Demand for domestic travel dwindled 20.9% in the month mainly due to weakness in China’s domestic traffic. This was because in February, China bore the worst brunt of the deadly coronavirus disease.
Traffic Picture Likely to be Bleaker Ahead
We expect the global traffic performance to have touched rock bottom in March given that the COVID-19 outbreak was declared a pandemic by WHO in the month. With air-travel demand collapsing, the Zacks Airline industry plummeted 52.4% in March.
In fact, with the health hazard showing no signs of waning, air-travel demand is likely to remain stressed atleast in the near term. Anticipating such a gloomy scene going forward, the Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) Delta Air Lines warned that revenues in second-quarter 2020 (Apr-Jun period) are likely to be down 90% year over year. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Other U.S.-based carriers like American Airlines cancelled most of their flights due to the shrinkage in air-travel demand as the pandemic continues to spread its tentacles across the globe, claiming multiple lives and infecting the global populace at large. The situation is exemplified by the European carrier Ryanair Holdings’ anticipation that its fleet will remain mostly grounded through at least April and May. To combat the coronavirus-induced threat, Latin American carriers like Avianca Holdings temporarily closed all passenger operations.
IATA’s Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac rightly termed the current impasse as the “biggest crisis that the industry has ever faced”. Due to the widespread flight cancellations, IATA projected airlines to burn up to $61 billion of their cash reserves during the second quarter of 2020.Passenger demand is likely to plunge71% in the Apr-Jun period. In fact, due to this suppressed demand, IATA anticipates airline passenger revenues, the largest component of their top line, to be dented by $252 billion in 2020.
In fact, per OAG, provider of airline data and insight, airlines may have to wait until 2022 or 2023 to attract passengers at the level initially expected for the current year. Notably, JetBlue Airways’ CEO Robin Hayes had warned last month that "the writing is on the wall" that travel demand cannot be restored anytime soon. Come what may, we expect investor focus to remain on this topical issue. To this end, we advise industry watchers to watch this space for more updates on the coronavirus overhang on air-travel and the airline industry’s response to this standoff.
Breakout Biotech Stocks with Triple-Digit Profit Potential
The biotech sector is projected to surge beyond $775 billion by 2024 as scientists develop treatments for thousands of diseases. They’re also finding ways to edit the human genome to literally erase our vulnerability to these diseases.
Zacks has just released Century of Biology: 7 Biotech Stocks to Buy Right Now to help investors profit from 7 stocks poised for outperformance. Our recent biotech recommendations have produced gains of +50%, +83% and +164% in as little as 2 months. The stocks in this report could perform even better.
See these 7 breakthrough stocks now>>
Zacks Investment Research
800-767-3771 ext. 9339
Past 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 banking, 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 https://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.
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
JetBlue Airways Corporation (JBLU) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Ryanair Holdings PLC (RYAAY) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Delta Air Lines, Inc. (DAL) : Free Stock Analysis Report
American Airlines Group Inc. (AAL) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Avianca Holdings S.A. (AVH) : Free Stock Analysis Report
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.