Is Stagecoach Group plc a better buy than easyJet plc, Wizz Air Holdings PLC and FirstGroup plc after H1 results?

Does Stagecoach Group plc (LON:SGC) (SGC.L) have more investment upside potential than easyJet plc (LON:EZJ) (EZJ.L), Wizz Air Holdings PLC (LON:WIZZ) (WIZZ.L) and FirstGroup plc (LON:FGP) (FGP.L)?


The Stagecoach Group plc (LON:SGC) (SGC.L) share price has risen over 3% today after it released H1 results. They show that there has been a rise in EPS to 13.6p from 12.7p in H1 of last year. Interim dividends have been maintained at 3.8p per share, with pre-tax profit up from £89.5 million last year to £96.7 million.

There has been positive progress in all of the company’s divisions. UK Bus is delivering in line with expectations after management action on regional UK bus pricing. Revenue per vehicle mile is up 2.7%, while journeys per vehicle mile have risen 0.3%.

There has been positive London Bus tender outcomes, with a net increase in vehicle miles of 4.5%. There have also been improved trends in North America, while further progress has been made in the UK Rail market. It is moving towards a more balanced risk profile across its UK Rail operations

The company has maintained its guidance for EPS for the current financial year. Investors seem to have reacted positively to the update judging by today’s upward share price movement.

In the last year the Stagecoach share price has fallen 12%. That’s a worse performance than other travel stocks such as easyJet plc (LON:EZJ) (EZJ.L), Wizz Air Holdings PLC (LON:WIZZ) (WIZZ.L) and FirstGroup plc (LON:FGP) (FGP.L). easyJet has gained 47%, FirstGroup is up 7% and the Wizz Air share price has made gains of 97% during the same one year period.

In my view, Stagecoach is making good progress with its strategy. It has experienced a disappointing year in terms of its share price performance, but appears to be turning a corner in terms of its operational and financial performance. Therefore, while risks remain in its various divisions, I believe improved share price performance could be ahead for the company over a long term time period.

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