Today I’ll be taking a closer look at two companies that have suffered huge share price declines since the UK voted to leave the European Union. Is the outlook for these two FTSE 100 giants as bleak as their valuations suggest, or have they been oversold in the post-Brexit panic?
Crash-landing for easyJet
Low-cost airline easyJet (LSE: EZJ) has been one of the biggest casualties of the blue chip index since last month’s referendum. The budget airline saw its share price fall to 12-month lows following the 23 June vote along with others in the travel sector. And if the shock of Brexit wasn’t enough to put a dent in investor confidence, last week’s disappointing third quarter update will surely leave the market feeling uneasy about the company’s prospects.
Late last week, the Luton-based carrier released a trading statement for the three months to the end of June revealing a 2.6% fall in revenue compared to the same period in 2015. Total revenue for the quarter fell to £1.2bn, with revenue per seat also registering a 7.7% decline to £54.54. The firm blamed the poor numbers on a series of external events resulting in a high number of flight cancellations. Worries over Brexit will no doubt affect consumer spending, but the terrorist attacks in Brussels, bad weather and air traffic control strikes are all external factors that even the best-run airlines can do little to control.
But it wasn’t all bad news for easyJet, as the airline announced a 5.8% increase in passenger numbers to 20.2m, driven by an increase in capacity of 5.5% to 21.9m seats, with the load factor up by 0.3 percentage points to 92%. Recent events in Nice and Turkey will no doubt have a further negative impact on consumer confidence, but the company has a strong cash position, solid balance sheet and flexible fleet plan. The shares have fallen 40% over the past year and now support a 5.4% yield for this year, and 5.9% for fiscal 2017. With the shares trading on just eight times forecast earnings, I think easyJet represents a decent long-term recovery play for contrarians, with the added bonus of a healthy dividend.
Another Brexit casualty has been electrical and telecoms retailer Dixons Carphone (LSE: DC). Worries over the impact on consumer spending of a weaker UK economy led to a sharp fall in the share price immediately after the results of the EU referendum were announced. The shares plunged to lows of around 280p in the days following the Brexit vote, and despite a subsequent bounce, are still trading at a significant discount to the New Year’s Eve high of 500p.
Market consensus suggests that earnings should continue to grow over the medium term, albeit at a slower pace than originally anticipated due to weaker consumer confidence. In my view the shares look undervalued at eleven times forecast earnings for this year, falling to 10 times for the year to August 2018. Bargain hunters may view this as a good time to buy a slice of one of Europe’s largest electrical retailers.
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Bilaal Mohamed 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.