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Allegiant Travel (ALGT): Stock Likely to Beat Earnings in Q1

Allegiant Travel Company ALGT, the parent company of Allegiant Air, is scheduled to report first-quarter 2016 results on Apr 27, after market close.

The company has an impressive track record with respect to earnings, having outshined the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the last four quarters. The average earnings beat being 3.39%.

Our model indicates an earnings beat for the company in the first quarter of 2016 as well. This is because this key player in the transportation space has the right combination of two key ingredients.

Zacks ESP: Allegiant Travel’s Earnings ESP stands at +0.47%. This is because the company’s Most Accurate estimate is $4.31, whereas the Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged at $4.29. A favorable ESP serves as a meaningful and leading indicator of a likely positive surprise.

Zacks Rank: Allegiant Travel currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Note that stocks with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 have a significantly higher chance of beating earnings estimates. Conversely, Sell-rated stocks (Zacks Rank #4 or 5) should never be considered going into an earnings announcement.

The combination of Allegiant Travel’s Zacks Rank #3 and +0.47% ESP makes us reasonably confident of an earnings beat.

Factors at Play

We expect Allegiant Travel’s bottom line to benefit from low fuel costs in the first quarter as has been the case in the last few quarters. The company expects system-wide fuel price per gallon for the first quarter to be $1.29, representing a significant reduction from the year-ago figure.

Moreover, we are impressed with the company’s constant efforts to expand by adding new flights. In Mar 2016, the carrier announced that it will add three new destinations and 22 new routes. We expect a further update on its expansion initiatives at the first-quarter conference call.

However, we are concerned about the declining unit revenue metric -- total revenues per available seat mile (TRASM). The company expects TRASM to fall in the band of 10.5% to 10.9% in the first quarter of 2016.

Other Stocks to Consider

Here are some other transportation companies you may want to consider as our model shows these have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter.

Copa Holdings CPA, with an earnings ESP of +8.70% and a Zacks Rank #3. The company is scheduled to report first-quarter earnings on May 5.

Frontline Ltd. FRO, with an earnings ESP of +11.54% and a Zacks Rank #3. The company is expected to report first-quarter results on Jun 3.

SkyWest, Inc. SKYW, with an earnings ESP of +16.00% and a Zacks Rank #2. The company is scheduled to report first-quarter results on Apr 28.

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