Thursday, 21 November 2013

easyJet - New Purchase

This FTSE 100 firm has not appeared on my radar until this weeks final results caught my attention.

Pre-tax profits for the year came in at £478 million, up over 50% on last year. The company are proposing a final dividend of 33.5p (last year 21.5p) based on its existing policy of paying out one third of annual profit after tax.
In addition they will also be paying a special dividend of 44.1p representing a return to shareholders of £175m. Payment will be made on 21st March 2014.

Commenting on results CEO, Carolyn McCall said:
"easyJet has delivered a strong full year performance and made significant progress against executing its strategic priorities.  The results reflect easyJet's continued structural advantage in the European short-haul market against both the legacy and low cost competition.   
Our disciplined approach to capacity allocation has resulted in a meaningful growth in earnings, profit margin and return on capital employed and we have ended the year with a strong balance sheet and a low level of gearing. As evidence of our continued confidence in the future prospects of the business the Board has recommended to return £308 million to shareholders through the combination of an ordinary and special dividend.  
We will continue to deliver our strategy of offering our customers low fares to great destinations with friendly service so that we can continue to win in a more competitive market. This means we are well placed to continue to deliver sustainable returns and growth for our shareholders."

The company has further strengthened its capital position - as at 30 September 2013, easyJet had cash and money market deposits of £1.2bn, an increase of £354m on the previous year and net cash of £558m against net debt of £74 million at the same period last year.
easyJet 12m price chart
The share price has performed strongly over the past year and since the results were announced, it is up over 100p so I would not be surprised to see some pull back in the coming weeks. On a current p/e of 14, I believe the shares are still reasonable value and I have therefore made my usual ‘half’ purchase today at 1409p giving a prospective yield of 5.5% subject to approval of shareholders at the AGM next February.

As ever, please DYOR.

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