Copa Holdings, S.A. CPA performed well in the past year and has the potential to sustain the momentum. If you haven’t taken advantage of its share price appreciation yet, it’s time for you to check out the factors that make the stock an attractive pick.
An Outperformer: A glimpse at the company’s price trend reveals that its shares have gained 53.9% in the past year against a 6.2% fall of the industry it belongs to.
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Solid Rank & VGM Score: Copa Holdings currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and has a VGM Score of A. Our research shows that stocks with a VGM Score of A or B, when combined with a Zacks Rank #1 or 2 (Buy), offer the best investment opportunities. Thus, CPA seems to be an appropriate investment proposition at the moment.
Northward Estimate Revisions: Six estimates for 2023 have moved north in the past 60 days versus no southward revision, reflecting analysts’ confidence in the stock. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2023 earnings has moved up 17.5% in the same timeframe.
Positive Earnings Surprise History: Copa Holdings has an impressive earnings surprise history. It outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the trailing four quarters, delivering an average earnings surprise of 14.6%.
Strong Growth Prospects: The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2023 earnings is pegged at $13.64, which indicates year-over-year growth of 65%. Earnings are expected to rise 5.3% in 2024.
Driving Factors: Robust air-travel demand aided CPA’s performance in first-quarter 2023, wherein it reported better-than-expected earnings per share and revenues. Operating revenues for the March quarter increased 29% to $867.3 million.
On a consolidated basis, traffic (measured in revenue passenger miles) grew 7.1% in the first quarter of 2023 from the first-quarter 2019 levels. Management expects current-year load factor to be 85%, assuming the rosy traffic scenario to continue.
CPA's focus on its cargo segment is very encouraging. In first-quarter 2023, cargo and mail revenues gained 51.8% to $23.25 million, owing to higher cargo volumes and yields.
We are impressed by Copa Holdings' initiatives to modernize its fleet. Apart from adding planes, this carrier is replacing outdated models as part of its fleet modernization efforts.
CPA exited 2022 with a consolidated fleet of 97 aircraft, which comprises 67 Boeing 737-800s, 22 Boeing 737 MAX 9s, 9 Boeing 737-700s and 1 Boeing 737-800 freighter. In first-quarter 2023, the carrier took the delivery of two Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft.
Other Stocks to Consider
Some other top-ranked stocks in the Zacks Transportation sector are Alaska Air Group, Inc. ALK and Allegiant Travel Company ALGT.
Alaska Air, which currently carries a Zacks Rank #2, is aided by improved air-travel demand. On the back of upbeat air-travel demand and favorable pricing, Alaska Air's top line increased 31% year over year in the March quarter. Alaska Air expects to boost its fleet and workforce in 2023 to meet the anticipated high demand. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
For second-quarter and 2023, ALK’s earnings are expected to register 13.7% and 44.8% growth, respectively, on a year-over-year basis.
Allegiant, currently carrying a Zacks Rank #2, also benefits from buoyant air-travel demand. With air-travel demand rising in the United States, operating revenues improved 8.5% year over year in 2022. Management expects revenues to remain strong in 2023 as well. In first-quarter 2023, operating revenues increased 29.9% on a year-over-year basis.
For second-quarter and 2023, ALGT’s earnings are estimated to grow 328% and 182%, respectively, on a year-over-year basis.
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