Margins matter. The more AerCap Holdings
Here's the current margin snapshot for AerCap Holdings over the trailing 12 months: Gross margin is 57.2%, while operating margin is 49.0% and net margin is 16.1%.
Unfortunately, a look at the most recent numbers doesn't tell us much about where AerCap Holdings has been, or where it's going. A company with rising gross and operating margins often fuels its growth by increasing demand for its products. If it sells more units while keeping costs in check, its profitability increases. Conversely, a company with gross margins that inch downward over time is often losing out to competition, and possibly engaging in a race to the bottom on prices. If it can't make up for this problem by cutting costs -- and most companies can't -- then both the business and its shares face a decidedly bleak outlook.
Of course, over the short term, the kind of economic shocks we recently experienced can drastically affect a company's profitability. That's why I like to look at five fiscal years' worth of margins, along with the results for the trailing 12 months, the last fiscal year, and last fiscal quarter (LFQ). You can't always reach a hard conclusion about your company's health, but you can better understand what to expect, and what to watch.
Here's the margin picture for AerCap Holdings over the past few years.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Dollar amounts in millions. FY = fiscal year. TTM = trailing 12 months.
Because of seasonality in some businesses, the numbers for the last period on the right -- the TTM figures -- aren't always comparable to the FY results preceding them. To compare quarterly margins to their prior-year levels, consult this chart.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Dollar amounts in millions. FQ = fiscal quarter.
Here's how the stats break down:
- Over the past five years, gross margin peaked at 59.7% and averaged 54.7%. Operating margin peaked at 50.9% and averaged 44.9%. Net margin peaked at 27.4% and averaged 18.8%.
- TTM gross margin is 57.2%, 250 basis points better than the five-year average. TTM operating margin is 49.0%, 410 basis points better than the five-year average. TTM net margin is 16.1%, 270 basis points worse than the five-year average.
With recent TTM operating margins exceeding historical averages, AerCap Holdings looks like it is doing fine.
If you're interested in companies like AerCap Holdings, you might want to check out the jaw-dropping technology that's about to put 100 million Chinese factory workers out on the street – and the 3 companies that control it. We'll tell you all about them in "The Future is Made in America." Click here for instant access to this free report.
- Add AerCap Holdings to My Watchlist.
Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor of Motley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
More from The Motley Fool
Forget Airlines: This Under-the-Radar Stock Is Ready to Fly
Growing earnings, a low share price, and aligned management make AerCap Holdings a great way to get exposure to the airline industry.
Can You Guess Who Boeing's Biggest Customer Is?
Hint: It's not Southwest Airlines. At least not this year, it isn't.
David Einhorn’s Super-Cheap Top Stock Pick for 2015
Einhorn hates airlines, but one of his best stock picks for 2015 has an intriguing link to the airline industry.