Grabbing Growth in Mexican Air Travel

So many airports. Which one to choose?

That's the question that faces toll-bridge investors these days if they turn their attention south of the border to the publicly traded Mexican airport operators:

Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacifico (NYSE: PAC  ) -- let's call it GAP for short -- plus Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste, known by the acronym ASUR (NYSE: ASR  ) , and newly IPOed Grupo Aeroportuario del Centro Norte (Nasdaq: OMAB  ) , which goes by the handle OMA.

I believe they're all worth a look, but which one you choose depends on what kind of spice you want. Banking on quick growth potential from a possible tourist boom? Then Cancun-o-centric ASUR's your daisy -- as I've often noted.

But if you're looking for a less lumpy, reasonably quick growth clip, you may want to give OMA another look.

The December traffic numbers illustrate what I'm talking about. Compared with the same month last year, OMA's passenger traffic spiked an impressive 17.8%. That meant a full-year passenger increase of 11.2%.

Sound too tame for you? Compared with the real passenger growth at ASUR, this pace is positively blistering, and it may continue for quite a while. Much of the increase was due to a big jump at OMA's largest airport, the business hub of Monterrey, which saw a 31.3% boost for the month of December, mostly thanks to the arrival of many new flights from a low-cost carrier, VivaAerobus, run by the founder of Irish flight juggernaut Ryanair (Nasdaq: RYAAY  ) .

This kind of better-than-tepid passenger-traffic growth is not likely to attract the usual kinds of growth investors, but if you like cash flows and growth at a reasonable price, you should pay attention to any and all of these Mexican airports.

As the Mexican economy steams along with moderate growth and more and more people take to the air (VivaAerobus' aim is to make air travel compete with bus travel on price), airport earnings growth stands to outpace the rest of the economy.

That's exactly the kind of relatively safe, megatrend-based, long-term investment Fools love to find.

GAP and ASUR have both been market-beating recommendations from Bill Mann and Seth Jayson. Bill leads Seth and the rest of the team at the Fool's newest premium investment service, Motley Fool Global Gains. If you'd like to get in early on a world of investment opportunities, a free 30-day ticket is just a click away.

At the time of publication, Seth Jayson had shares of ASUR but no positions in any other company mentioned here. View his stock holdings and Fool profile here. Fool rules are here.


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