Hawaiian reported fourth-quarter earnings excluding items of 40 cents a share, in line with estimates, after the markets closed on Thursday. Shares closed Thursday at $26.62, opened Friday at $21.36 and closed Friday at 19.44.
The carrier indicated that it expects a RASM decrease of 3.5% to 6.5% in the first quarter.
"We acknowledged some revenue weakness in the first quarter and that seems to be what caught the imagination of the market today," Hawaiian CEO Mark Dunkerley declared in a CNBC appearance on Friday.
"Most of people sitting on our airplanes from Asia buy their tickets in foreign currencies," Dunkerley said, acknowledging the impact of the strong dollar. Additionally, he said, "Between North American and Hawaii, capacity is up about 10% year over year and that in our airline industry is quite a big number.
"Demand is actually very strong at the moment," he said. "We've seen no weakness in demand. Demand's just not growing as quickly as capacity has." Given lower oil prices, "as long as demand stays strong, we're forecasting a much better 2015 than our already good 2014," he said.
Two analysts who wrote about the results on Friday morning, even before shareholders dumped stock en masse, said a selloff could make Hawaiian shares attractive.
"Buy Aggressively on Weakness," was the headline of CRT Capital analyst Mike Derchin's note.
"We would aggressively add to positions or initiate new ones if the shares of buy-rated Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. sells off on news of declining first quarter RASM and lower 1Q15 consensus estimates," Derchin wrote.
Wolfe Research analyst Hunter Keay estimates earnings of $2.31 a share for the full year, reduced from $2.82. Keay also reduced his current quarter estimate to 17 cents a share, down from 35 cents. Consensus is 25 cents.
Keay noted that North America-to-Hawaii accounts for 50% of passenger revenue, while international routes account for 27%. (Inter-island accounts for the rest). "There is excess capacity from North America to Hawaii, potential getting much worse in the second half of 2015 if Virgin America (VA) enters the market, and international routes are under pressure from foreign exchange and fuel surcharges," Key wrote.
Since the start of 2013, when Hawaiian stock opened at $6.74, the carrier's forward price/earnings multiple "has expanded by 95%, versus 28% for the average U.S. airline stock," Keay wrote.
"When valuation expands this fast a stock must deliver," he said. "We will see where valuation shakes out, but we see fair value in the low $20s."
-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.
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