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Alaska Air Group (ALK) Q1 Earnings, Revenues Top; Up Y/Y

Alaska Air Group, Inc. ALK reported first-quarter 2016 earnings per share of $1.45, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.42 and also increased 29% year over year.
 

Quarterly revenues also increased 5% year over year to $1.35 billion, steering past the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.34 billion. On a year-over-year basis, Passenger revenues improved 4%.

Operating Statistics

Airline traffic, measured in revenue passenger miles, rose 11% year over year to 8,571 million in the first quarter of 2016. Capacity or available seat miles increased 12.9% to 10,453 million. Load factor (percentage of seats filled by passengers) was 82% compared with 83.4% recorded in the year-ago quarter. Meanwhile, passenger revenue per available seat mile decreased 7.7% year over year to 10.84 cents.

Operating Expenses & Operating Income

In the quarter under review, operating income surged 22% to $290 million from the prior-year quarter. Total operating expenses inched up 3% year over year to $1,057 million buoyed by an increase in wages. Fuel price (economic) stood at $1.29 per gallon, down from $1.98 in the year-ago quarter. Meanwhile, consolidated unit cost or cost per available seat mile, excluding fuel and special items, fell 1.2% year over year to 8.51 cents.

Liquidity

At the end of the first quarter of 2016, Alaska Air Group had $1,564 million in cash and marketable securities compared with $1,328 million at the end of fiscal 2015. During the quarter under review, the company had long-term debt of $531 million compared with $569 million at the end of 2015. At the end of the reported quarter, the debt-to-capitalization ratio was 17% versus 19% at 2015-end.

Alaska Air Group currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Key Picks

Better-ranked stocks in the same industry include SkyWest Inc. SKYW, Ryanair Holdings plc RYAAY and GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes S.A. GOL. All the three stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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RYANAIR HLDGS (RYAAY): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
GOL LINHAS-ADR (GOL): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
SKYWEST INC (SKYW): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
ALASKA AIR GRP (ALK): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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