TAM reports lower than expected profit for 3Q2009; Copa profits up

All North and South American carriers, expect for Air Canada (+2.4%) saw stocks slide on Thursday (12-Nov-2009), with the AMEX Airline Index down 2.9% at the end of trading as a result. The drop came as the wider market also fell, with the Dow down 0.9%, while oil prices rose 3%, to USD76.94.

The fall in stock prices came as the US Department of Transportation reported a 5.5% year-on-year decline in full-time employees at US carriers during Sep-2009, to 563,391.

TAM reports lower than expected profit for 3Q2009

TAM (-6.2%) stocks saw the biggest losses on Thursday, after reporting a smaller than expected profit for 3Q2009. The carrier reported a profit of USD201 million for the quarter, due to an improvement in the Brazilian Real, rising 10% against the US Dollar during the period, which assisted in cutting costs. The result was compared to a net loss of USD382.5 million in 3Q2008. Operating costs decreased 14% year-on-year, while operating revenue declined 16.5%, to USD1.4 billion. TAM also reported a 25.2% fall in yield during the quarter.

Credit Suisse commented that although it was expecting a low operating margin from the carrier, the results highlight its higher costs compared to competitors, which could effect TAM’s stock prices. 

Meanwhile, the carrier stated during trading it plans to increase domestic fares by approximately 10% from the start of 2010.

Copa reports 86.8% increase in net income

After trading, Copa Airlines (-1.6%) reported a 86.8% increase in net income, to USD43.1 million for 3Q2009. This was despite a 19.6% drop in operating income for the period. Costs per ASM (CASM) meanwhile fell 14%, due to improved fuel prices, leading to a 14.2% drop in yield.

Load factor meanwhile fell 1.5% year-on-year during the quarter, to 75.8%, as capacity (ASMs) was increased 10.7%, while traffic (RPMs) rose 8.5%.

Air Canada makes the day’s only gain

Air Canada (+2.4%) was the only carrier with stocks up at the end of trading. The carrier announced during trading it has commenced offering customers a Preferred Seat option allowing travellers to reserve specific exit row and bulkhead seats with extra seat pitch in the economy cabin on all Air Canada services. This week, part owner ACE also announced a prolongation of the repayment period for its loan to the carrier.

North & South America selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 12-Nov-09