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Aug 21, 2017

Transat says it's having a better-than-expected summer season; shares surge

Airline stocks set to soar higher

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MONTREAL - Transat A.T. Inc. says it's having a better summer season than expected and its third-quarter results will show "significantly higher" adjusted earnings than during the comparable period last year.

The Montreal-based travel company says revenue has been higher than anticipated since mid-June when Transat issued its previous outlook and second-quarter results.

At the time, Transat estimated overall results for the six months from May through October would be similar to last year.

Transat says revenue to July 31 has turned out superior to last year, especially since mid-June.

It also says this year's third-quarter adjusted net income will be similar to the $26.9 million posted two years ago, and significantly higher than the $2.5 million reported in last year's third quarter.

The company cautions that its comments are based on preliminary estimates and final results, as well as an outlook for the fourth quarter, will be announced on Sept. 7.

BNN Commentator Andrew McCreath says that while the stronger loonie has helped boost Canadian airlines, Transat's story is a bit of a "confusing."

“When you look at the balance sheet, it appears to be pristine, but they’ve got a lot of debt off balance sheet with respect to leases for airplanes," he said Monday.  “I suspect that over time, Air Canada and WestJet are going to continue to nibble away at the shares of Transat — and so consequently, I’d want to be with one of the big boys as opposed to Transat.” 

Shares of the company were up 9.3 per cent as of 12:25 p.m. ET Monday. 

-- With files from BNN