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What: Shares of Latin American airline Copa Holdings (NYSE:CPA) were soaring today, climbing as much as 11% after a strong earnings report and ratings upgrade.
So what: Copa easily beat earnings estimates in the quarter, posting an adjusted EPS of $2.80 a share on expectations of just $2.30 and a 37% improvement from the total the year before at $2.04. Revenue was also up 18% to $641.3 million, well ahead of the experts' view at $623.6 million, as a 19.5% jump in passenger traffic helped drive the improved results. Deutsche Bank was one of many observers that liked the results, bumping up its rating from hold to buy as analyst Michael Linenberg noted the 170-basis point improvement in operating margin.
Now what: Copa scored another upgrade from Evercore, which upped its rating to overweight from equal weight. The airline also showed improvements on the cost side of the equation as cost per available seat mile, a key industry metric, fell 3.7%. Copa did not issue guidance for the rest of the year, but it's fair to expect the estimates to rise after such a strong beat on top and bottom lines. Airlines can be risky investments but Copa looks like a winner.
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