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The stocks of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK) and JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ: JBLU) have observed a 58% drop since early February after the WHO declared coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency. The airline industry has been worst affected by the ongoing pandemic as travel restrictions and social distancing measures require people to stay indoors and avoid crowded spaces. JetBlue and Alaska Air Group have reduced seating capacity by more than 80% until June with further cuts expected for the full year. Recently, the U.S. treasury allotted aid to all airline carriers, with JetBlue and Alaska Air Group receiving $936 million and $992 million, respectively, to cover employee costs. However, with the coronavirus pandemic likely affect travel demand for the full year, the first-quarter results (for the period ending March) early next month would confirm both companies’ operational and capital allocation strategy to tackle further deterioration in demand.
CORONAVIRUS CRISIS : Since early February, Alaska Air Group stock has moved -56.6% compared to -59.1% for JetBlue Airways.
Alaska Air Group % Change For Key Dates: 2020 Crisis
JetBlue Airways % Change For Key Dates: 2020 Crisis
HISTORICAL PERFORMANCE: From 2009-2019 Alaska Air Group stock has grown at 3.2x the rate of JetBlue Airways
Alaska Air Group stock went from $7.73 at the end of 2009 to $67.37 at the end of 2019, representing a change of 771.5%.
During the same time period, the JetBlue Airways went from $5.45 to $18.72 representing a change of 243.5%.
This implies that Alaska Air Group stock grew at 3.2x the rate of JetBlue Airways
ALK Stock Price
JBLU Stock Price
ALK Stock Price Annualized Rate of Return
JBLU Stock Price Annualized Rate of Return
ANALYSIS: Is Alaska Air Group stock expensive based on a review of the fundamentals?
P/E Ratio: ALK and JBLU have comparable trailing P/E ratios
Alaska Air Group 2019 trailing P/E ratio of 10.4 is 1x that of the 2019 JetBlue Airways P/E ratio of 9.8.
* P/E Ratio is calculated based on year end market price and trailing earnings. However, for 2020 P/E, we use 2019 earnings and current market price.
Historical Revenue Growth: Alaska Air Group has observed a higher revenue growth majorly due to the acquisition of Virgin America in 2016
Alaska Air Group 2014-19 annualized revenue growth of 13% is 3.4x that of the 2014-19 S&P 500 annualized revenue growth rate of 3.9%.
ALK Annual Change in Revenue
JBLU Annual Change In Revenue
Historical EPS Growth: Alaska Air Group and JetBlue Airways earnings have grown at a similar rate
Alaska Air Group 2014-19 annualized EPS growth of 7% is 1.3x that of the 2014-19 S&P 500 annualized EPS growth rate of 5.7%.
ALK Annual Change in EPS
JBLU Annual Change in EPS
Survival Check: Total Debt Comparisons
Alaska Air Group Total Debt has increased from $2.6 billion to $2.7 between 2016 and 2019. In comparison, Total Debt for JetBlue Airways has risen from $1.2 to $2.0.
ALK Total Debt
JBLU Total Debt
Cash Flow Comparisons
ALK Cash from operations
JBLU Cash from operations
JetBlue and Alaska Air Group’s P/E ratio based on 2019 earnings have declined at a similar rate from over 10x in 2019 to 5x currently. This is largely attributable to JetBlue and Alaska Air’s comparable operational parameters. JetBlue and Alaska Air reported 64 billion and 67 billion available seat miles in 2019, respectively. Moreover, both airlines fly across 100 destinations with nearly 300+ aircraft at a similar occupancy rate and passenger yield.In 2019, the share of Latin America & Caribbean region of JetBlue’s total capacity stood at 31% while Alaska Air Group’s exposure to Latin America was 17% (The share of Hawaii, Costa Rica, and Mexico was 17% of total capacity
). We believe that Alaska Air Group’s strong domestic presence to support a quicker top-line recovery driven by a higher occupancy rate as the containment efforts of the coronavirus pandemic find success and travel restrictions are lifted.
Is Alaska Air Group Expensive Or Cheap After A -56.6% Move vs. JetBlue Airways?
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Alaska Air Group - ALK