American Airlines (AAL) Stock Declines After Delaying Airbus Delivery

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- American Airlines (AAL) shares are down 0.37% to $40.56 in afternoon trading after the airline said that it was delaying the delivery of an order for 35 new Airbus Group (EADSY) A320neo jetliners.

The company now says that it will wait four to five more years before accepting the delivery of the new fleet, a delay from its previously announced delivery dates in 2017 and 2018.

The company now has no A320neo purchase commitments in 2017 and 2018, and instead has commitments for 25 A320's in 2019 and 75 in 2020 or later, according to an SEC filing.

The company said that the new delivery agreement gives it "more capacity flexibility."

American Airlines originally purchased 260 A320 family airliners in 2011. The company still has scheduled deliveries for 45 total Airbus A320 Family aircrafts for 2016 and 2017.

TheStreet Ratings team rates AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC (AAL) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC turned its bottom line around by earning $3.92 versus -$8.48 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($9.03 versus $3.92).
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Airlines industry and the overall market, AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • AAL, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 3.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 1.7%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • AAL has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 5.37% from its price level of one year ago. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 6.85 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. Along with the unfavorable debt-to-equity ratio, AAL maintains a poor quick ratio of 0.83, which illustrates the inability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: AAL Ratings Report

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