For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL - March 17, 2016- Zacks Equity Research highlights Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. ( HA ) as the Bull of the Day and Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. ( CMG ) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on FedEx Corp ( FDX ).
Here is a synopsis of all three stocks:
Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. ( HA ) , the parent of Hawaiian Airlines, continues to see strong demand to Hawaii. This Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) is expected to grow earnings by 48% this year.
Hawaiian is Hawaii's biggest airline. It has been serving the islands for 87 years and offers non-stop service to 11 gateway US cities.
It also has been expanding its international offerings, with service from Japan, South Korea, China, Australia, New Zealand, American Samoa and Tahiti.
February Traffic Still Strong
On Mar 4, Hawaiian reported its February traffic which spiked higher again.
The number of passengers rose 7.1% to 842,412 from February of 2015. Combined with January, year to date, the number of passengers is up 5.6% year over year.
Revenue passenger miles (RPMS) rose 7% in February as the Load Factor also rose 1.2% year over year to 79.1%.
Coming Off a Solid 2015
On Jan 26, Hawaiian reported fourth quarter and full year 2015 results. It met the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.85.
Low fuel costs are definitely helping to pump up the bottom line. But there's also strong demand from mainland US as well as international cities to Hawaii which is boosting growth.
Hawaiian, like other multinational companies, was hurt by the strong dollar but the company expects those headwinds to diminish throughout 2016.
Capacity problems also don't appear to be an issue as Hawaiian remains the dominant carrier to the islands.
Estimates Rising for 2016
The analysts continue to be bullish on Hawaiian.
In just the last week, the 2016 Zacks Consensus Estimate has risen to $4.66 from $4.57. That is earnings growth of 48%, coming off a very strong 2015.
Just 90 days ago, analysts were expecting only $3.40.
Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. ( CMG ) is still struggling to recover from a food-borne illness scare that shut some of its restaurants late in 2015. This Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) is expecting to see a wider loss in the first quarter than previously anticipated.
Chipotle offers fresh Mexican food at more than 2,000 restaurants across the United States. It also operates 13 ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen restaurants which offers fresh Asian food offerings.
The company is also an investor the owner of 3 Pizzeria Locale restaurants.
Lowers First Quarter EPS Guidance
On Mar 16, at a consumer and retail conference, Chipotle provided an update on February and March same-store-sales and how marketing was working to bring customers back to the restaurants.
It mailed out over 5 million free entree coupons across America which were good for the period from Feb 8 to Feb 24.
Many of those were cashed in, but it's unclear if those were already existing customers or just people eating at a Chipotle for a one time free meal.
Comps showed improvement over the prior few weeks, however. That indicates that the worst may be over.
January comps were down 36%. February was down just 26.1%, although that included 2.6% for the extra Leap Day.
The first week of March, comps improved again, falling 21.5%. But the second week, they jumped back up to a decline of 27.3% when a Boston store was closed temporarily.
Given the success of the free entree, which obviously is a money-loser every time someone cashes in a coupon, Chipotle said it would take a wider loss in the first quarter. Previously, it had anticipated breaking even but now sees a $1.00 per share loss.
FedEx Tops Earnings Estimates, Tightens Fiscal Outlook
FedEx Corp ( FDX ) just released their third quarter fiscal 2016 earnings results, posting earnings of $2.51 per share and revenue of $12.7 billion.
Currently, FDX has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), but it is subject to change following the release of the company's latest earnings report. Here are 5 key statistics from this just announced report below.
1. Beat earnings estimates. The company posted $2.51 per share , surpassing our Zacks Consensus Estimate of 2.33. This number excludes $0.67 from non-recurring items.
2. Beat revenue estimates. The company saw revenue figures of $12.7 billion , beating our estimate of $12.264 billion.
3. Reported adjusted non-GAAP net income of $692 million.
4. "Tightened its adjusted earnings forecast to $10.70 to $10.90 per diluted share for fiscal 2016 before year-end mark-to-market pension accounting adjustments ("MTM adjustments"), compared to the previous forecast of $10.40 to $10.90 per diluted share. The outlook assumes moderate economic growth and excludes certain legal matters as well as any TNT-related costs or operating results," the company said in its earnings release.
5. FDX was up $6.98, or 4.84%, to $151.25 as of 4:39 PM ET in after-hours trading shortly after its earnings report was released.
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