(Reuters) Copa Holdings, the parent company of Panamanian carrier Copa Airlines, reported a on Thursday, benefiting from a bigger fleet and more flights.
New York-listed Copa (CPA.N) reported net income of $63.9 million, or $1.45 per share, in the quarter, up from $43.1 million, or 98 cents per share, in the same period of 2009.
“Total revenues grew 11.8 percent to $362 million on 13.8 percent capacity expansion,” Copa said in a statement, referring to more flights and additional planes.
The company expects to end the year with 63 aircraft, up from 60 in the third quarter, it added.
Copa, which last month changed the name of its Colombian unit, Aero Republica, to Copa Airlines Colombia, will become a member of Star Alliance, a global airline network, Star Alliance said on Wednesday. Copa’s main regional competitor, Avianca-TACA, will also join, said the alliance.
Analysts say Copa, which planned a 10 percent expansion in capacity this year, remains a strong performer in the turbulent global airline industry, but some have made reductions in performance outlooks.
In a report earlier this month, JPMorgan reduced its estimated Copa Holdings operating margin for 2010 to around 18 percent and lowering expected earnings per share for the year to $4.57 from $4.77, due in part to slightly weaker forecast fourth-quarter demand.
Due to increasing fuel price estimates, the company put 2010 operating margins at around 19 percent from a previous forecast of 19 percent to 21 percent.
Copa also presented preliminary outlooks for 2011, calling for a 17 percent to 19 percent capacity expansion and an 18 percent to 20 percent operating margin.
JPMorgan reduced its 2011 earnings per share estimate for Copa to $5.90 from $6.55, due to higher fuel costs.
“Copa does remain one of the few, attractive longer-term ideas within our universe, while also among the least risky,” JPMorgan said in its report.