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Key Airline Earnings for April 21: ALK, LUV, HA

As Q1 earnings season continues, more and more big names are starting to post their earnings results. On Thursday, two big names in the airline industry reported their first quarter fiscal 2016 earnings results before the bell: Alaska Air Group ALK, and Southwest Airlines LUV.

Seattle, Washington-based Alaska Air, the holding company of Alaska Airlines, reported strong Q1 results. Adjusted earnings came in at $1.45 per share, topping the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.42 and reflecting a 29% increase from the year-ago period. Revenues of $1.35 billion edged past our consensus estimate of $1.34 billion, with the top line growing 6% on a year-over-year basis.

Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, Southwest Airlines reported Q1 results where both the top and bottom lines surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Earnings came in at $0.88 per share, outpacing estimates of $0.84 per share. Revenues of $4.8 billion topped estimates as well and increased 9.3% on a year-over-year basis. Airline traffic, measured in billions of revenue passenger miles, increased 9.9% year-over-year to 28.41 billion in the first quarter. 

Airline industry investors should keep an eye out for Hawaiian Holdings HA, who reports after the bell on Thursday. The parent company of Hawaiian Airlines is expected to report earnings per share of $0.75 and revenues of $556 million for the first quarter. Read “Hawaiian Holdings (HA) Q1 Earnings: Stock to Disappoint?” for an in-depth preview on the company’s earnings potential.

Q1 Earnings Season Scorecard (as of 4/21/2016)

Including all of this morning’s results, we now have Q1 results from 111 S&P 500 members that combined account for 26.2% of the index’s total market capitalization. Total earnings for these companies are down -7% from the same period last year on+0.8% higher revenues, with 78.4% beating EPS estimates and 58.4% coming ahead of revenue estimates.

Relative to other recent periods, this is weak earnings and revenue growth from these 111 index members. But positive surprises are more numerous relative to other recent periods, both for earnings as well as revenues. The favorable trend in surprises could be interpreted to mean that estimates may have fallen too much in the run up to the start of the Q1 earnings season.

Looking at Q1 as a whole, combining the actual results from the 111 S&P 500 members that have reported with estimates for the still-to-come 389 index members, total earnings are expected to be down -9.4% on -6% lower revenues – the 4th quarter in a row of earnings declines for the index. Estimates for 2016 Q2 have started to come down, with total earnings for the S&P 500 index now expected to be down -5% from the same period last year.

For a more detailed look at the Q1 earnings season, check out our weekly Earnings Trends report at this link - http://www.zacks.com/commentary/78743/is-the-earnings-picture-improving

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SOUTHWEST AIR (LUV): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
HAWAIIAN HLDGS (HA): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
ALASKA AIR GRP (ALK): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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