The year 2020 will forever be etched in our memories as the year everything changed. The Covid-19 pandemic swept across the globe, leaving devastation in its wake. As countries went into lockdown and economies ground to a halt, stock markets plummeted into uncertainty. Amidst this chaos, one industry that was most badly affected had to be the airlines industry. According to McKinsey, the airline industry haemorrhaged more than $168 billion in economic losses in 2020. And SIA was not spared either with revenue declining by more than 70%.
It has been three years since the Covid-19 pandemic happened. With passenger numbers returning to 90% of pre-pandemic period, SIA share has also recovered back to pre-Covid levels. As the industry continues to power beyond pre-Covid levels, is now still a good time to invest in SIA?
Let’s dive deeper into the performance of SIA in recent times and examine whether it remains an attractive investment opportunity.
A brief introduction of SIA business
Many may mistakenly think of the SIA as an airline company. However, that is not entirely accurate. The SIA Group is a global company that provides air transportation services. The key business of SIA are as follows:
- Passenger airline business: SIA operates a fleet of over 188 aircrafts and serves over 109 destinations. It provides both Full-Service Carrier and Low-Cost Carrier via the Singapore Airlines and Scoot brands respectively. The passenger airline business is the largest and most important business of the SIA Group.
- Cargo airline business: SIA Cargo is one of the world’s leading cargo airlines. It operates a fleet of over 7 freighter aircrafts. It was crucial in helping to relieve global supply chain disruptions during the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Engineering services business: SIA Engineering Company is a leading aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) company. The number of flights handled by the Line Maintenance unit has recovered to about 79% of pre-pandemic level.
- Others: These businesses play a crucial role in enabling the aforementioned SIA operations. This includes their KrisFlyer Rewards programme, KrisShop, Singapore Airlines Academy (SAA) and Pelago business. The KrisFlyer Rewards and KrisShop is a loyalty program for members to accumulate miles and enjoy exclusive shopping privileges. While SAA offers training in the areas of service excellence and digital innovation to other businesses. Since its launch in 2020, it has trained over 2300 learners from over 100 clients across different industries. Lastly, Pelago is a travel experience platform that aims to connect customers to global and global cultures.
For 2022, the Passenger Airlines remains SIA Group’s biggest revenue generator at over 75% with S$13.4 billion. The second biggest contributor is its Cargo airlines with S$3.6 billion. Engineering and its other business contribute the remaining 1.8% and 2.8% of the Group’s revenue.
How has SIA performed since the pandemic?
In 2022, SIA reported its highest profit in over 76 years with total revenue at S$17.8 billion. The resurgence of air travel and tourism has benefited many asian airlines including the Singapore Airlines. Additionally, net profit reached S$2.7 billion, the highest level achieved by the group.
If we ignore the pandemic years and look across the years, we see a 5-year CAGR of 2.38%. This is great news, considering the travel industry also began to recover in the latter half of 2021. As of 2023, SIA’s passenger load factor has increased to 79% of its pre-COVID levels. This demonstrates potential revenue growth for the SIA group despite its all time high revenue.
However, with the pandemic largely behind us, demand for cargo airlines services are also expected to weaken. This could be a cause of concern as the cargo business was the company’s saving grace during those pandemic years. Hence, this also implies that the SIA will have to rely more heavily on their Passenger airline business in the future.
Is it a good time to invest in SIA?
Looking at some of the key metrics will provide insights on whether now is a good time to invest.
Price/Book (P/B) ratio (1 Year)
The current P/B SIA stands at 1.87x while it’s 1-year Average P/B ratio stands at 1.59x
Price/Book (P/B) ratio (5 Year)
The current P/B SIA stands at 1.87x while it’s 5-year Average P/B ratio stands at 1.14x
Price/Earning (P/E) ratio (1 Year)
The current P/E SIA stands at 20.36x while it’s 1-year Average P/E ratio stands at 41.02x
Price/Earning (P/E) ratio (5 Year)
The current P/E SIA stands at 20.36x while it’s 5-year Average P/E ratio stands at 24.56x
SIA share price appears slightly over-valued as compared to both its 1 year and 5 year P/B averages. As for P/E average, SIA share price appears to be more fairly valued as compared to its averages.
The future of SIA seems pretty optimistic, given the recovery of the travel industry. The demand for flights is expected to increase as people resume their travel plans post-pandemic. Additionally, Singapore Airlines’ strong brand reputation and commitment to customer satisfaction are key factors that could contribute to its future success.
However, investing in SIA at this point requires careful consideration. The share price has recovered back to pre-covid levels at about S$7 per share. Furthermore, the price now seems slightly overvalued based on its P/B and P/E ratio. Additionally, Temasek has recently trimmed their stake in the company which affected the share price.
In conclusion, uncertainties remain within the aviation and travel industry due to ongoing effects of Covid-19. Investing in a well-established company like SIA can still offer potential opportunities for investors who have a long-term perspective.
If you are keen, check out our articles on other analysis: Trust Bank Referral and The S&P500 is in a bull market, should you buy now?
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Disclaimer: The information provided by LearnToInvest serves as an educational piece and is not intended to be personalised investment advice. Readers should always do their own due diligence and consider their financial goals before investing in any stock.