The Fundamental Case for and Against Alaska Air Group, Inc. (ALK)

Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE:ALK) is on our radar right now but there could still be some opportunities on the horizon. Now trading with a market value of 7.27B, the company has a mix of catalysts and obstacles that spring from the nature of its operations. Everyone seems to have their own opinion of this stock. But what do the numbers really say? We think it’s a great time to take a fresh look.

Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE:ALK) Fundamentals That Matter

It’s generally a good idea to start with the most fundamental piece of the picture: the balance sheet. The balance sheet health of any company plays a key role in its ability to meet its obligations and maintain the faith of its investment base. For ALK, the company currently has 177 million of cash on the books, which is offset by 387 million in current liabilities. The trend over time is important to note. In this case, the company’s debt has been growing. The company also has 10.85 billion in total assets, balanced by 7.41 billion in total liabilities, which should give you a sense of the viability of the company under any number of imagined business contexts.

Alaska Air Group, Inc. (ALK) saw 71 million in free cash flow last quarter, representing a quarterly net change in cash of -14 million. Perhaps most importantly where cash movements are concerned, the company saw about 306 million in net operating cash flow.

Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE:ALK) Revenue Growth Potential

As far as key trends that demonstrate something of the future investment potential of this stock, we need to take a closer look at the top line, first and foremost. Last quarter, the company saw 1.83 billion in total revenues. That represents a quarterly year/year change in revenues of 0.05 in sequential terms, the ALK saw sales decline by -0.07.

But what about the bottom line? After all, that’s what really matters in the end. Alaska Air Group, Inc. (ALK) is intriguing when broken down to its core data. The cost of selling goods last quarter was 1.57 billion, yielding a gross basic income of 266 million. For shareholders, given the total diluted outstanding shares of 123.63 million, this means overall earnings per share of 0.03. Note, this compares with a consensus analyst forecast of 2.21 in earnings per share for its next fiscal quarterly report.

Is Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE:ALK) Valuation Attractive

Looking ahead at valuations, according to the consensus, the next fiscal year is forecast to bring about 7.10 in total earnings per share. If we consider a median price to earnings ratio on the stock, that corresponds with a stock price of 8.28. However, one should always remember: the trends are more important than the forecasts. This continues to be an interesting story, and we look forward to updating it again soon on Alaska Air Group, Inc..

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