22 Apr 2014

Analyst warns AIA shares over-priced

2:10 pm on 22 April 2014

An analyst believes shares in Auckland International Airport are overpriced and the airport is overly optimistic about its growth prospects.

In a research note, Forsyth Barr analyst Andy Bowley says even though Auckland Airport has over 90 percent of the long haul market, it will face increasing competition from other centres in the future.

An Auckland International Airport spokesperson says the company does not comment on individual analyst reports as there are a range of views at any one time.

It says it remains focused on driving growth in travel, trade and tourism, especially in the Australia-Pacific region.

Shares in Auckland International Airport are currently worth $3.96 each.

But Mr Bowley, believes that's too expensive and the shares should only be worth $3.30 each.

That's because he says the airport's growth forecasts for international passenger numbers are too optimistic.

The airport is forecasting passenger numbers to grow by 3.7 percent a year for the next thirty years.

But Mr Bowley says it's more likely to be around 2.8 percent, which is the annual growth rate calculated by the airport itself for the 2012-2017 period.

He says the airport's strategy of boosting links with Asian carriers, leveraging its land bank and its retail and car park businesses has been successful, but the company could face retail pressure points and there's always the the risk of more regulation and competition in the future.