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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  Stock Exchange of Hong Kong  >  Cathay Pacific Airways Limited    0293   HK0293001514

CATHAY PACIFIC AIRWAYS LIMITED

(0293)
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Cathay Pacific Airways : lowers full-year profit expectations as Hong Kong protests bite

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10/18/2019 | 01:43am EST
A Cathay Pacific Boeing 777 plane lands at Hong Kong airport after it reopened following clashes between police and protesters

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd on Friday lowered its expectations for full-year profit due to "incredibly challenging" conditions in its home market racked by anti-government protests that it expected to persist for the rest of 2019.

The airline reported a 7.1% drop in passenger numbers for the month of September as travellers avoided Hong Kong due to widespread and sometimes violent protests, and said its second-half financial results were likely to be below the first half.

Cathay, which is trying to complete a three-year financial turnaround plan, has become the biggest corporate casualty of the Hong Kong protests after China demanded it suspend staff involved in, or supporting, the demonstrations that have plunged the former British colony into a political crisis.

The airline in August reported a HK$1.347 billion ($171.75 million) first-half profit. At that time, Cathay said second-half profit was likely to be higher than the first-half, as is typically the case for the airline, based on seasonality.

The consensus estimate before Friday's update was for the airline to report a full-year profit of HK$3.2 billion, according to 11 analysts polled by Refinitiv, although some last month predicted a poor second half.

Cathay shares were trading 1.4% lower at 0510 GMT.

"We continue to see a significant shortfall in inbound bookings for the remainder of 2019 as compared to the same snapshot last year," Cathay Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Ronald Lam said in a statement on Friday.

Cathay last month said it would cut capacity for the upcoming winter season.

BOCOM International analyst Luya You on Friday said further cuts might be needed in 2020 and even 2021 given there was no way of determining a timeline for when the political turmoil in Hong Kong would be resolved.

Inbound traffic to Hong Kong was down 38% in September, unchanged from August, with demand from the mainland Chinese market hit especially hard, the airline said.

The 7.1% fall in passenger numbers in September was better than the 11.3% drop in August, but Cathay said an increasing reliance on transit passengers had affected its yields - a measure of the average fare paid per kilometre per passenger.

BOCOM's You said even if passenger numbers outside China appeared to stabilise in the coming months, that was likely to come at the cost of significantly lower fares.

Cathay also said cargo volumes fell 4.4% in September, but that there were signs of improvement as it headed into air freight's traditional high-demand season.

(Reporting by Jamie Freed; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Christopher Cushing)

By Jamie Freed

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Financials (HKD)
Sales 2019 107 B
EBIT 2019 4 378 M
Net income 2019 2 273 M
Debt 2019 71 391 M
Yield 2019 2,39%
P/E ratio 2019 18,4x
P/E ratio 2020 12,1x
EV / Sales2019 1,03x
EV / Sales2020 1,01x
Capitalization 38 630 M
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Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 15
Average target price 11,62  HKD
Last Close Price 9,82  HKD
Spread / Highest target 41,5%
Spread / Average Target 18,3%
Spread / Lowest Target -38,9%
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Managers
NameTitle
Kin Wing Tang Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director
Patrick Healy Chairman
Gregory Thomas Forrest Hughes COO, Director & Chief Service Delivery Officer
Martin James Murray Chief Financial Officer & Executive Director
Kwok Leung Chu Non-Executive Director
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