Thursday, December 7

Aena’s dividend is delayed. Justice gives a push to action

Aena He lives a year exposed to the ups and downs of a pandemic that has caused the price of his shares to fluctuate between 128 and 150 euros. But it accumulates strength in the closing stages of the calendar to try to end 2021 with a slight improvement compared to the beginning of the year.

The Spanish airport infrastructure manager started 2021 trading at 138.5 euros and, as of December 29, it does so at 138.75 euros. The improvement is 0.18 percent and, with it, Aena seeks to endure the rate, supported both by optimism around the effects of the omicron variant of the coronavirus and by its judicial victories in Spain.

The recovery of Aena, of course, is based on a month of increases that at the opening of December 29 rose to 7.42 percent, after having suffered the consequences of a generalized fall in the market during “Black Friday of the markets “of November 26, when the appearance of the omicron variant was reported for the first time

The year-end rally of the listed company is reduced to 3.58 percent by narrowing the margin in the last five days, but in the absence of a session to finalize the stock market calendar in Spain, Aena struggles to end 2021 with its graph of evolution in green.

Back to optimism about air traffic

Before the omicron variant boosted the volatility of the markets due to the uncertainty about its effects, Deutsche Bank assured in its report on Aena that the more it observed the company’s case, the more convinced they were about its purchase recommendation on the securities, to which assigned an improved price of 177 euros.

The German bank based its opinion, among other arguments, on the belief that Aena will recover most of its traffic in 2022 and on reducing the risk of regulators as the economy reopens.

And in this sense, Aena has received good news in recent weeks.

On the one hand, investors are showing less and less concern about the impact of the new variant in the long term, also supported by movements such as that of the US CDC, which has advocated reducing the quarantine time after the contagion of omicron.

In Spain, for example, there has been an increase in infections by Covid-19 after Christmas, but the data shows that hospitalizations remain significantly reduced compared to the figures of a year ago.

On the other hand, the courts have supported Aena’s position regarding contracts with restaurants dedicated to catering, allowing the company a greater margin of maneuverability.

Justice raises Aena

Aena has submitted a statement to National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) during Wednesday in which he reported that the Central Administrative Court of Contractual Resources has given him the reason in his position on the contracts so that the opening of shops and restaurants in the airports of its network are considered rentals, and not concessions, as it ruled the Supreme Court in March.

“The Court’s decision is based on the fact that the technical modifications included by Aena in the contracting specifications of the tendered contracts mean that they are considered real estate leases and not concession contracts as described by the claimant association and, therefore, therefore, they can only be examined before the civil jurisdiction, “the statement explained.

The resolution confirms the legality of the company’s business model for the development of catering in its airport network, which will continue to be based on the leasing model, as up to now.

Bankinter considers that the resolution is good news for Aena, which will not have to submit to a State contract law, “which would force it to award with more guarantees for operators and workers, including the right to economic rebalancing of the concessions and the limitation on the use of the auction as the sole criterion for evaluating offers “.

The entity, even so, maintains the neutral recommendation for the company, forecasting that the return to the company’s dividend could be delayed to 2023.

Analysts are waiting

Although the signs seem positive for the future of Aena, the consensus of analysts is generally neutral regarding its outlook for the next 12 months.

The average target price assigned to the company for one year is 155.5 euros, which would represent an improvement of around 12 percent that does convince 13 of the experts who have issued a buy recommendation or overweight on the shares of the company.

However, 13 other analysts maintain the neutral recommendation on Aena, among them José Manuel Arroyos, from Banco Santander, who is one of the last professionals to offer an update as of December 29, in which he maintains his neutral position, and assigns a target price to the securities of 133 euros.