SpiceJet 2nd most valued Indian airline

SpiceJet 2nd most valued Indian airline

SpiceJet, the airline which was on the verge of closure till it was sold back to its original promoters in 2015, on Thursday surged past Jet Airways, its much larger peer, in terms of market capitalisation.

At Thursday’s close, SpiceJet had a market cap of Rs 5,599 crore, compared to Jet Airways’s Rs 5,464 crore, BSE data showed. Interglobe Aviation, the owner of IndiGo which has a market cap of about Rs 35,300 crore, remains the most valued airline company in the country.

SpiceJet founder Ajay Singh, who had sold the airline to the Chennai-based Maran family in 2010, paid just Rs 2 to buy it back from Marans in January 2015. At that time, the stock price of the low-cost airline hovered around the Rs 16.50 level. Since Singh took charge of the airline, the stock price has risen steadily and on Thursday it closed at Rs 93.50, a surge of nearly six times in about 26 months.

In comparison, the stock price of Jet Airways, which was at about Rs 400 in early 2015, has fluctuated between Rs 525 and Rs 250, and on Thursday closed at Rs 481. According to a report by SBICap Securities, by the end of this fiscal, SpiceJet should have 50 aircraft, compared to 113 by Jet Airways and 132 by IndiGo.

A report by ICICI Securities on the Indian aviation sector pointed out that SpiceJet has been showing a strong operating performance which in February recorded a passenger load factor (PLF) of 93.6%, while its its on-time performance (OTP) was the industry best at 81%. This was the sixth consecutive month that SpiceJet had the best OTP among big airlines, I-Sec analyst Ansuman Deb pointed out in the report. In comparison, Jet Airways reported a domestic PLF of 86.6%.

However, the SBIcap Securities report pointed out that SpiceJet still has a poor cost structure, including high maintenance costs compared to its peers which still needs to be fixed for an even better valuation for the stock.

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