KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 23): AIRASIA BHD  shares fell in early trade on Wednesday after its earnings for the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2011 fell 53.46% to RM152.29 million from RM327.29 million a year earlier, due mainly to higher fuel expense and staff costs.
At 9.20am, AirAsia fell eight sen to RM3.59 with 362,800 shares traded.
Revenue for the quarter rose 9.87% to RM1.08 billion from RM979.71 million in 2010.
For the nine months ended Sept 30, the low-cost carrier’s net profit fell 42.89% to RM428.49 million from RM750.33 million in 2010, despite posting an increase in revenue to RM3.2 billion from RM2.78 billion.
ECM Libra Investment Research maintained its Trading Buy rating on AirAsia but trimmed its earnings estimates by 9-29% and reduced its target price from RM4.78 to RM4.34.
The research house said in a note Nov 23 that AirAsia reported an adjusted net profit of RM105.7 million in 3QFY11.
“Although the results were expected to be stronger during this peak seasonal period, it came out weaker due to a drop in passengers carried and high fuel cost in 3QFY11.
“9MFY11 adjusted net profit was only 51% and 54% of house and consensus full-year estimates,” it said.