Pegasus Rises in Trading Debut on Profit Outlook: Istanbul Mover

Pegasus Hava Tasimaciligi AS rose in its first day of trading in Istanbul on speculation expansion by the low-cost Turkish carrier will boost profit this year.

Pegasus, whose passenger count advanced 20 percent in 2012 to 13.6 million, climbed 1.9 percent to 18.75 liras at the close in Istanbul. The airline sold a 34.5 percent stake for 649.4 million liras ($360.7 million), valuing it at 1.88 billion liras, according to the initial public offering prospectus.

Pegasus, which offers flights to 24 destinations in Turkey and 39 cities abroad, posted a net income of 126.3 million liras in 2012 after a 14.1 million-lira loss the year earlier, according to the prospectus. Domestic demand for the IPO was 2.2 times the amount offered, while demand from foreign investors, who bought 70 percent of the 35.3 million shares, was 1.8 times, according to Is Yatirim Menkul Degerler AS, lead manager of the sale.

“Investors who couldn’t get the shares during book-building are possibly buying today, while those who got them aren’t selling, convinced that the price will go further north,” Burak Isyar, an analyst at Burgan Securities in Istanbul, said in a phone interview. The brokerage was among 31 handling the IPO.

Pegasus will use the IPO proceeds to expand its network and finance airplane purchases, while some of the cash will “bring flexibility” to the balance sheet, the Anatolia news agency reported today, citing Chairman Ali Sabanci. The Istanbul-based company purchased 75 planes from Airbus in December with an option to buy 25 more as it seeks to expand its fleet.

Pegasus is the country’s second carrier to sell shares to the public after Turkish Airlines, the biggest, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.