Air Arabia PJSC advanced to the highest since April after the Middle East’s biggest discount airline reported a 31 percent increase in second-quarter profit, beating estimates.
The shares climbed 0.8 percent to 65.1 fils at the close in Dubai, the highest level since April 17. Air Arabia was the fourth-biggest gainer and the most traded stock on the benchmark DFM General Index, which slipped 0.2 percent.
The airline said quarterly profit rose to 65 million dirhams ($18 million). EFG-Hermes Holding SAE estimated a profit of 53 million dirhams, while Securities & Investment Co. forecast 51 million dirhams, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Air Arabia, which competes with state-owned FlyDubai, is adding aircraft to its bases in Morocco and Egypt to capture a rebound in demand for travel following last year’s so-called Arab Spring, Chief Executive Officer Adel Ali said in March.
The results were “very impressive and beat consensus,” said Chahir Hosni, equity sales manager at EFG-Hermes in Dubai. The company is poised to continue earnings growth as “the third-quarter is usually the busiest for Air Arabia,” he said.
The stock has climbed 11 percent so far this year compared with a 15 percent increase for the emirate’s stock index.
Six analysts recommend investors buy the shares, another six say hold and one sell, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.