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Hawaiian Holdings (HA) Stock Plunges After Earnings, Lowered Price Target

On Wednesday, shares of Hawaiian Airlines parent company Hawaiian Holdings HA are plunging, down over 9% in late-morning trading to $40.12 per share as a result of its second-quarter financial results yesterday after the bell and a new lowered price target.

Hawaiian reported earnings of $1.58 per share (excluding 9 cents from non-recurring items), which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.53 per share. Total revenues came in at 5 million, lagging just behind our consensus estimate of $676 million but growing over 30% year-over-year.

The airline reported a solid 7.6% increase in revenue per available seat mile (RASM), an important airline industry metric. This allowed Hawaiian to fully offset significant increases in fuel prices and non-fuel unit costs, and resulted in the company’s adjusted pre-tax profit to jump 17% year-over-year.

During Q2, Hawaiian Holdings announced some new routes and increased frequencies, including extended seasonal non-stop service between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Kaua'i's Lihu'e Airport (LIH) to year-round non-stop service. The company also announced expanded service for 2018 between North America and Hawai'I, which capitalizes on the introduction of the A321neo to Hawaiian's fleet.

These expansions are a good sign, as United Continental UAL notably plans to significantly increase its service to Hawaii next year.

"Our string of outstanding results continued into the second quarter," said Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian Airlines president and CEO.  "These results have come courtesy of strong demand for the Hawai'i vacation, low fuel prices, moderate industry capacity, and an excellent job done by my colleagues in finding new ways to strengthen our performance.”

Looking ahead, Hawaiian Holdings expects adjusted non-fuel unit costs to increase 7%-10% in the third quarter. The company also projects RASM to rise 4.5%-7.5% year-over-year. However, Hawaiian is lowering its guidance range for economic fuel cost per gallon for full-year fiscal 2017.

And today, Deutsche Bank lowered its price target on Hawaiian Holdings to $52 from $64, with the firm maintaining a Hold rating. DB also expects RASM growth to slow sequentially based on “Sep Q RASM guidance despite an easier y-o-y comp/lower capacity growth at HA.”

Currently, HA is a #3 (Hold) on the Zacks Rank. Shares of Hawaiian have lost over 21% in value year-to-date.

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