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Three Great Airline Stocks to Buy This Earnings Season

Expectations are sky-high for airliners as they report their quarterly earnings over the next few weeks.  As the Q1 earnings season builds momentum, it may be wise to invest in the airline space. 

Peers within this industry have been seeing earnings estimates trend upwards over the past few months.  A lot of this has been driven by the high supply of crude oil in the market, and this has helped to drive fuel prices down for airliners. 

Fuel costs are one of the biggest expenses for airline corporations, so there are some opportunities to profit from higher margins experienced by the space over the short term.  According to our Zacks Industry Rank, the airline space stands among the top 25% of all industries.

Some airliners are already posting great numbers this earnings season.  Controladora Vuela (VLRS) reported its earnings this morning, posting beats on our revenue and EPS consensus.  As a result, its shares have picked up 3% in trading so far today.  You don’t want to miss out on this potential earnings party for the airline space, so we’ve listed three great airline stocks to consider buying before their earnings are released.

Deutsche Lufthansa AG-DLAKY

Lufthansa is a German airline corporation.  When including its subsidiaries, DLAKY is one of the largest passenger airline fleets in the world.  The stock is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), and it has a market cap of about $7.27 billion.

Lufthansa is a valuable buy across some financial metrics.  The corporation’s shares trade at a forward PE multiple of just 4.61.  DLAKY also trades at a price-to-sales (P/S) of just 0.2, while the average P/S in the airline space is 0.85.

Lufthansa has beaten our EPS consensus in three of the last four quarters, with an average quarterly beat of 310.59% per quarter over that time frame.  DLAKY is expected to report its earnings in the beginning of May.

Ryanair Ltd-RYAAY

Ryanair is an Irish, low-fare airliner that primarily operates from Europe.  RYAAY is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), and it has a large market cap of $20.74 billion.

The company has a debt-to-equity of 0.91.  It should be noted that the company has a PEG of just 0.45.  A PEG under one suggests that a company may be undervalued. 

In the last 90 days, our EPS consensus has moved upwards.  Three months ago, our EPS consensus for this quarter estimated earnings of $0.16.  Now, our EPS consensus estimates earnings of $0.30.  Ryanair is expected to report its earnings at the end of May.

Skywest Inc-SKYW

Skywest Inc. operates one of the larger regional airlines in the United States.  The airliner provides passenger and freight service, completing over 880 flights per day.  Skywest is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).  This small-cap corporation has a market cap of just $1.03 billion.  It sees more price movement than your average stock, as its beta is 1.67.  It’s worth noting that the stock doles out a 0.79% dividend.

Skywest looks pretty cheap across some key valuation metrics.  The company trades at a price-to-book of just 0.67.  It also trades at a price-to-sales of 0.35.  Both of these metrics are below one, which may suggest that Skywest is undervalued right now. 

Over the last 90 days, our EPS consensus has trended upwards, going from $0.23 to $0.25.  The airliner has beaten our earnings consensus estimate in each of the last four quarters.  Over the last two quarters, the company has posted an average quarterly beat of 9.47%.

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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
 
RYANAIR HLDGS (RYAAY): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
SKYWEST INC (SKYW): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
LUFTHANSA -ADR (DLAKY): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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