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Volgens mij hebben we nog een inhaalslag te maken.
effect van kostenbesparingen, huidige waardering fors onder de boekwaarde.

Een mooie plus vandaag, en een fors volume. Ik ga er vanuit dat we komend jaar snel richting de 10 euro gaan. Air France is een behoorlijke achterblijver dit jaar ten opzichte van veel andere aandelen, ondanks dat er veel problemen structureel zijn opgelost. Komend jaar zullen de kostenbesparingen zijn effect gaan krijgen. Met een intrinsieke waarde van meer dan 15 euro, is het aandeel nu een koopje
Air France-KLM: Time to Lift Off

While many airline stocks have had a spectacular year, Air France-KLM has been stranded on the runway. Formed by the 2004 merger of Air France and the Dutch carrier KLM, the company hit an air pocket in 2007, when the global financial crisis struck, and has yet to right itself. It has posted an operating loss in three of the past four years, and its shares have plummeted 80%, to a recent 7.45 euros ($10.24).

Next year, however, Air France (ticker: AF.France) could get its wings back as the company lowers operating costs and returns to profitability. In doing so, it will be following the trajectory of British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines (IAG.Spain), which executed a successful restructuring and saw its shares more than double in 2013.

IAG now trades for 13.1 times projected 2014 earnings, compared with 10.6 times for Air France. If the Franco-Dutch carrier commanded the same price/earnings multiple, its shares would fetch €9.17, or almost 25% more than the current price. Assuming economic growth in Europe exceeds expectations, the stock could even double in 18 months, says Stuart Mitchell, founder of London-based S.W. Mitchell Capital, which owns 0.8% of the shares.

Air France-KLM carried 77.4 million passengers last year, fewer than Deutsche Lufthansa's (LHA.Germany) 103 million, but more than IAG's 69 million. At 83.1%, its load factor, or the percentage of available seats filled, exceeded both competitors'. The airline, whose Air France unit is a member of the SkyTeam alliance, a 19-carrier consortium, has a strong long-haul network serving Asia, Latin America, and Africa. It also carries a substantial amount of trans-Atlantic traffic, due in part to a joint venture with Delta Air Lines (DAL).

None of this equated to profits in recent years, owing to Air France-KLM's bloated cost structure and heavy debt load. The company lost a cumulative €2 billion in 2011 and 2012.
Last year management decided it was time for an overhaul, and developed a multi-pronged restructuring plan. It focuses on workforce reductions, productivity enhancements, and cutbacks in outside investments. Among other things, Air France-KLM is working to refocus its medium- and short-haul operations, which have been under intense pressure from low-cost carriers such as Ireland's Ryanair (RYA.U.K.) and Britain's easyJet (EZJ.U.K.). The company is cutting the number of aircraft it keeps at regional bases to focus on more profitable long-haul routes.

Changes are occurring in the cargo business, too, which has suffered from overcapacity amid a sluggish economy. Not least, the carrier has been reducing net debt, which peaked at €6.52 billion in 2011, but had fallen to €5.4 billion by the end of the third quarter. Management hopes to reduce debt to €4.5 billion by the end of 2014.

Leading the charge is CEO Alexandre de Juniac, 51, who joined Air France-KLM in 2011 as chairman and CEO of the Air France business. Previously an executive at the French aerospace and defense company Thales (HO.France), he took the top job in July, succeeding Jean-Cyril Spinetta, who retired as CEO in 2009 but was called back in 2011.

De Juniac has injected energy and dynamism into the company, and taken some bold steps. For one, he declined to participate in a €300 million rights issue for Alitalia, which will reduce Air France-KLM's stake in the Italian carrier to 19% from 25%, because Alitalia's creditors refused to renegotiate the company's debt. Air France acquired its position in 2009, a year after the Italian carrier was rescued by a group of private investors.

Says one European portfolio manager, "de Juniac will do to Air France what [CEO] Sergio Marchionne did to Fiat [F.Italy]"—namely, turn around a storied European brand. De Juniac and other executives were unavailable to comment.

So far, progress has been encouraging on several fronts. By the end of 2014, Air France will have eliminated more than 5,000 jobs, cutting its workforce to less than 100,000. That's no small achievement in France, where jobs are fiercely protected and layoffs draw political ire. The company managed to secure voluntary departures in an agreement with labor unions, avoiding the usual rancor.

Costs are coming down at a time when revenues are rising. The company reported operating profit of €183 million in the first nine months of 2013, and generated free cash flow of €500 million, although restructuring charges tipped net results into the red. Net losses for the full year are expected to narrow to €1.15 a share from last year's €2.07, on revenue of €25.9 billion. Next year Air France-KLM could finally return to the black, with analysts forecasting a 2014 profit of €0.70 a share, followed by €1.33 in 2015.

MOST ANALYSTS RATE Air France-KLM's shares Hold or Sell, citing the company's high debt level. But that's not a case of excess baggage; the ratio of net debt to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization fell to a comfortable 3.1 times at Sept. 30 from 4.3 times a year earlier. It is likely to drop further as free cash builds.

While the carrier's restructuring has been partly delayed, economic conditions could provide a tail wind in 2014. Gross domestic product in the euro zone is forecast to climb 1.1% from minus 0.4% in 2013. For Air France-KLM's long-suffering shareholders, it's time to buckle up and enjoy the flight.
herbie bel
mooie stijging vandaag . Lufthansa, british, Delta allemaal negatief of nipt positief, waardoor is AF zo sterk gestegen?
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