Shares of American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL), an airline operator offering roughly 6,700 flights per day to nearly 350 destinations in more than 50 countries, are down nearly 6% as of 2:55 p.m. EDT as investors digested a number of developments ranging from fuel cost concerns to hurricane impacts.
American Airlines shares have had an up-and-down Tuesday in trading. Despite shares moving higher during premarket trading, things quickly reversed when the market opened, and investors digested a couple of developments. American Airlines noted Hurricane Florence caused roughly 2,100 cancelled flights, which reduced third-quarter revenue by roughly $55 million and reduced pretax income by roughly $50 million. Despite those cancellations also lowering total revenue per available seat mile (TRASM) by 50 basis points, management still increased its low-end TRASM outlook to growth of 2% to 3%, compared to the prior guidance of 1% to 3% growth. American Airlines also announced it would record $230 million in special items during the third quarter due to merger expenses and fleet restructuring, among other factors.
That wasn't all investors had to digest, either. Federal forecasters issued a warning that Hurricane Michael was growing stronger and could cause severe flooding across the Florida Panhandle as well as Alabama's coast. That prompted American Airlines to issue a fee waiver so travelers will not have to pay a change fee, with stipulations, if flights are disrupted. Delta Air Lines also capped fares and eliminated change fees for flyers booked on Tuesday or Wednesday from certain cities.
As if that wasn't enough, investors also had rising fuel costs to consider. "Increased revenue in the third quarter wasn't enough to offset higher fuel costs, suggesting that margin expansion is unlikely to occur until 2019," Helane Becker, a Cowen & Co. analyst, noted in a report, according to Bloomberg.
While there's plenty of negative news swirling around American Airlines, among others, it's important for investors to recognize much of it is short term in nature and to avoid making any knee-jerk reactions despite Tuesday's 6% decline as long as your long-term thesis remains intact.