The last quarter was tough for budget airline easyJet (LSE: EZJ) as slower demand growth led to a 2.6% year-on-year fall in revenue. Even worse was that total revenue per seat fell 7.7% due to a 5.5% increase in total capacity during the period. Unsurprisingly, shares are already down close to 6% in morning trading as the market digests this information.
The worry for easyJet is that other budget airlines have also been ramping up capacity in the past few quarters, repeating the common industry mistake of assuming solid demand growth will last forever. This higher capacity, combined with lower demand due to terrorism fears and the weaker pound, is likely to lead to lower fares as airlines compete to retain market share.
If the market believes this pattern is about to become reality then the next few months could be rough for easyJet, despite a strong balance sheet and impressive 4.9% yielding dividend.
Shareholders of online appliance retailer AO World (LSE: AO) had better news to wake up to as Q1 UK sales rose 25% year-on-year and European sales jumped a full 101%. While the market is accustomed to solid growth at home, strong sales on the Continent were unexpected after several quarters of disappointingly high losses.
With European operations finally bearing fruit the shares were bid up by more than 9% in early morning trading. The next question for AO is whether it can expand European operations outside Germany and the Netherlands quickly and without undue losses.
The company is currently unconcerned with overall profitability but will need to show investors that it can expand market share at a respectable clip in the coming quarters to justify this stance. If it can follow the Amazon model and provide low prices alongside impressive delivery times and customer service, the future could be bright for AO World.
Time for a closer look?
It’s never good when a property management company takes the time to warn investors that “demand from occupiers is likely to be subdued until confidence returns and this may have an impact on rental values.” Unfortunately for shareholders of commercial property REIT Land Securities (LSE: LAND) that’s exactly the announcement CEO Robert Noel made today.
Given the uncertainty surrounding the method and timing and the UK’s withdrawal from the EU it’s little surprise that companies are putting off planned expansions or upgrades in order to let the dust settle. This has led the market to sell-off shares of Land Securities to the tune of 9% since Brexit with a 2% drop today alone.
However, this sell-off could be overdone as the company remains in very solid shape. Management prepared for Brexit by trimming adjusted net debt from £4.1bn to £3.2bn over the last full year and felt confident enough to announce today a 9.9% increase in dividends. If Brexit doesn’t result in a catastrophic fall in commercial property demand, now could be a good time to take a closer look at Land Securities.
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Ian Pierce has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.