AAX active, jumps 7.41% on solid 4Q earnings

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 22): AirAsia X Bhd (AAX) shares jumped 7.41% in active trade this morning after its net profit more than doubled to RM84.41 million in the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2017 from RM39.01 million a year ago, supported by a 12% growth in passenger volume.

At 9.01am, AAX rose 3 sen to 43.5 sen with 23.82 million shares done.

Quarterly revenue also increased 4.3% to RM1.22 billion in 4QFY17, from RM1.17 billion in 4QFY16.

The improved quarterly results lifted AAX's net profit for full FY17 to RM98.89 million, more than doubling from RM44.84 million the previous year. Revenue was also up 17% to RM4.56 billion, from RM3.9 billion in FY16.

Meanwhile, CIMB IB Research upgraded AirAsia X Bhd (AAX) to “Hold” at 28 sen with a higher target price of 41 sen and said AAX’s FY17 core net profit of RM139 million was 32% ahead of house forecast due to better than-expected earnings at Thai AirAsia X (TAAX) and Indonesia AirAsia X (IAAX).

In a note today, the research house said that on the back of a strong demand-led turnaround at TAAX and successful restructuring at IAAX, it raised AAX’s group core net profit forecasts by more than 100%.

“We upgrade from Reduce to Hold, with a higher target price of 41 sen, based on a higher CY18F P/BV multiple of 1.5x, from 1x previously, to reflect the better outlook,” it said.