Denver-based Frontier Group Holdings, parent company of Frontier Airlines, has weathered the most tumultuous year ever in the global aviation industry and is again planning to go public months ahead.
“We believe that the restrictions and health concerns that depressed demand during the pandemic are also likely to lead to increased backlog of vacation travel once the effects of the pandemic wear off. As a result, we expect our performance to rebound significantly as the US market recovers, ”the airline said in a statement filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this week.
The Denver-based airline registered for an IPO in March 2017. However, despite a robust economy and a mostly cheap stock market, it never pulled the trigger for a supposedly $ 700 million stock offering. At the end of July last year, the struggling airline ripped open its registration with the SEC.
The airline refilled on Monday. The offer includes a $ 100 million wildcard amount, with the final request likely being much larger. And the date of the offer has yet to be determined. The ticker is FRNT.
The recurring IPO begs the question: If Frontier Airlines failed to successfully launch a stock offering in good times, why can it pique investor interest after such a difficult time for air travel and tourism in general? ?
“As for Frontier’s initial public offering, the exchange is actually in a great position to support this type of offering,” said Lowell Valencia-Miller, professor of management at the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business. “The passage of the latest US rescue plan, which provides additional financial support for the aviation industry through the Payroll Support Program, is optimistic.”
The Dow Jones industrial average hit a new high on Wednesday, reflecting the more favorable sentiment of investors towards value stocks, including airlines.
Frontier acknowledges that sales, operating income, financial condition and liquidity have “decreased substantially”. In 2020, the company lost $ 225 million on sales of $ 1.25 billion, compared with income of $ 251 million on sales of $ 2.5 billion in 2019. Every day In 2020, cash was $ 2 million more than the average.
But it goes on to say that it managed its finances and operations much more nimbly than its rivals during the pandemic, and that its low-fare strategy appealed to those brave enough to get on a plane. Customers kept coming, despite numerous complaints from angry passengers about the airline’s policy on refunds and credits, when flights were canceled in the early months of the pandemic. A $ 25 round-trip flight ticket can apparently mean a lot of forgiveness.
Heading into the pandemic, about nine out of ten passengers on Frontier Airlines were vacationers, and this is the segment that has returned first and strongest, which is typical of downturns, Frontier said. International travel and business travel, on the other hand, remain dying.
Frontier also expects an additional increase in purchases from employees who have moved away and who are responsible for paying travel expenses for attending face-to-face meetings in the home office.
Frontier said that by operating a narrow ship it was able to keep the amount of money it had to borrow to deal with the pandemic at $ 1 per passenger, compared to an average among U.S. airlines of $ 17 per passenger . But it has borrowed, and that means that future stock investors will not see a dividend for a year or anytime they repay the federal loans they borrowed.