Alaska Air Group, Inc. ALK witnessed a 5.18% increase in its share price at close of business on Jan 10. The stock price appreciation was driven by the company’s impressive traffic results, which were released earlier that day.
The company included the performance of Virgin America, which it acquired on Dec 14, 2016, in its results. The company also provided the prior-year period details of Virgin America for comparison.
We note that the stock has been performing well over the past few months. Shares of the company comfortably outperformed the Zacks categorized Transportation-Airline industry over the last three months. The stock has gained over 30.63% compared with the industry, which has advanced just 19.42% over the same period.
Alaska Air posted a significant rise in air traffic for the month of December. Traffic – measured in revenue passenger miles (RPMs) – came in at 4.13 billion, up 5.6% from 3.9billion a year ago.
On a year-over-year basis, consolidated capacity (or available seat miles/ASMs) rose 5% to 4.96 billion. Load factor – the percentage of seats filled by passengers – improved to 83.1% from 82.6% in Dec 2015 as traffic growth far exceeded capacity expansion.
For the year 2016, Alaska Air Group recorded a 10.8% increase in RPMs to 48.75 billion and 10.2% rise in ASMs to 57.95 billion, both on a year-over-year basis. Load factor was 84.1% compared with 83.7% for the full year.
The company’s traffic growth can be attributed to new routes and focus on enhancing customer service. Also, passenger count in December and at the end of 2016 grew 4.4% and 7.8%, respectively.
The company has been consistently posting impressive traffic results despite intense competition from peers like JetBlue Airways Co. JBLU, United Continental Holdings Inc. UAL and Delta Air Lines Inc. DAL.
Alaska Air Group currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Zacks' Top 10 Stocks for 2017
In addition to the stocks discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 finest buy-and-hold tickers for the entirety of 2017?
Who wouldn't? As of early December, the 2016 Top 10 produced 5 double-digit winners including oil and natural gas giant Pioneer Natural Resources which racked up a stellar +50% gain. The new list is painstakingly hand-picked from 4,400 companies covered by the Zacks Rank. Be among the very first to see it>>
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
Delta Air Lines, Inc. (DAL): Free Stock Analysis Report
Alaska Air Group, Inc. (ALK): Free Stock Analysis Report
United Continental Holdings, Inc. (UAL): Free Stock Analysis Report
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.