Author’s Recommendations: Buying Aena and Holding as Equal Weight

March 23, 2024 | by


This article highlights the author’s recommendations for investing in Aena, the largest airport operator in the world. With expectations of passenger traffic continuing to increase in the coming years, Aena’s financial results have already shown improvement, with significant revenue and EBITDA growth in 2023. However, considering the Spanish government’s majority ownership and potential risks such as economic conditions and flight demand, it is important to approach Aena as an equal-weight holding in a diversified portfolio. Despite these risks, analysts estimate promising earnings growth for Aena, making it an attractive investment opportunity.

Authors Recommendations: Buying Aena and Holding as Equal Weight

Overview of Aena

Aena, the largest airport operator by passenger volume in the world, holds a prominent position in the aviation industry. With its extensive portfolio of airports in Spain, Aena is a key player in providing transportation services for millions of travelers. The company’s commitment to excellence and innovation has positioned it as a leader in the market.


Description of Aena as the largest airport operator

Aena’s status as the largest airport operator reflects its significant presence in the global aviation sector. The company manages an extensive network of airports, including major hubs and regional airports, in Spain. This vast infrastructure allows Aena to cater to a wide range of domestic and international travel demands. With its dedication to operational efficiency and passenger satisfaction, Aena has built a strong reputation as a reliable and customer-oriented airport operator.

Expected increase in passenger traffic in 2024-2026

Aena foresees a promising future, with expectations of passenger traffic growth in the coming years. Specifically, the company predicts an increase in passenger volume through its Spanish airports in 2024, 2025, and 2026. This positive trajectory indicates a growing demand for air travel, underscoring the significance of Aena’s role in facilitating seamless journeys for travelers.


Positive rebound of passenger traffic and financial results in 2023

In 2023, Aena experienced a noteworthy rebound in passenger traffic, reaching 102.9% of the levels recorded in 2019. This achievement demonstrates the resilience and adaptability of the company amid the challenges posed by the global pandemic. Additionally, Aena’s financial results improved significantly, with a remarkable 21.3% increase in revenue and a notable 45.4% rise in EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization). These positive outcomes reflect Aena’s ability to navigate adversity while maintaining strong financial performance.

Aena’s Strategic Plan

Aena has formulated an ambitious strategic plan for the period between 2022 and 2026, outlining its goals and actions as it continues to strengthen its position as the leading airport operator. This comprehensive plan focuses on various key areas, including infrastructure development, operational efficiency, and enhancing the passenger experience.


Overview of Aena’s strategic plan for 2022-2026

Aena’s strategic plan encompasses a wide range of initiatives aimed at driving growth and innovation. The company aims to invest in infrastructure improvements and expansions to meet the increasing demand for air travel. By modernizing its airports, Aena aims to provide passengers with state-of-the-art facilities and enhance their overall travel experience. Furthermore, the plan emphasizes a commitment to sustainability, aiming to reduce the environmental impact of airport operations.

Prediction of handling over one million passengers a day by 2026

One of the notable objectives outlined in Aena’s strategic plan is the expectation to handle over one million passengers per day globally by 2026. This ambitious target reflects Aena’s confidence in the growth potential of the aviation industry. By continually improving its operations and adapting to changing market dynamics, Aena is well-positioned to accommodate the increasing number of passengers and deliver seamless travel experiences on a global scale.


Authors Recommendations: Buying Aena and Holding as Equal Weight

Ownership Structure

Understanding Aena’s ownership structure is paramount to comprehending its operations and potential influence on strategic decisions.

The Spanish government’s ownership of 51% of Aena

Aena is a public company in which the Spanish government holds a majority stake of 51%. This ownership structure implies a significant level of government involvement in the company’s operations and decision-making processes. The government’s influence can manifest through policies, regulations, and strategic directions that align with national interests.

Potential impact on company operations

The Spanish government’s ownership of Aena raises the possibility of its influence impacting the company’s operations. Government policies, regulations, and priorities related to the aviation sector can shape Aena’s strategic decisions and investments. It is important for stakeholders to closely monitor any potential shifts in government policies to effectively anticipate their impact on Aena’s operations and profitability.

Analysts’ Estimates

Analysts play a crucial role in assessing a company’s financial performance and providing insights into its growth prospects. Here, we explore the estimated earnings growth for Aena and evaluate its valuation.

Projected earnings growth for Aena

Analysts project positive earnings growth for Aena in the coming years. This optimistic outlook is a testament to the company’s resilience and strategic positioning within the aviation industry. As passenger traffic rebounds and revenue increases, Aena stands to benefit from improved financial performance and sustained profitability.

Forward PE ratio of 13.99 for 2024

The forward price-to-earnings (PE) ratio is a key valuation metric used by investors to assess a company’s attractiveness in terms of its stock price relative to its anticipated earnings. For Aena, analysts estimate a forward PE ratio of 13.99 for the year 2024. This implies that investors may find the company’s shares reasonably priced compared to its expected earnings growth.

Attractive valuation

Considering Aena’s projected earnings growth and its favorable forward PE ratio, the company presents an attractive valuation proposition for investors. This suggests that investing in Aena may offer the potential for favorable returns, especially for those seeking exposure to the aviation sector.

Authors Recommendations: Buying Aena and Holding as Equal Weight


While Aena exhibits promising prospects, it is important to consider potential risks that could impact the company’s performance.

Economic conditions

Like any industry, the aviation sector is susceptible to economic fluctuations. Adverse macroeconomic conditions, such as recessions or high unemployment rates, can weaken consumer demand for air travel and subsequently affect Aena’s passenger traffic and financial results. It is essential to monitor economic indicators to gauge the potential impact on Aena’s operations.

Flight demand

Changes in flight demand patterns and consumer preferences can also pose risks to Aena. External factors, such as geopolitical tensions or health crises, can lead to shifts in travel behavior and disrupt passenger traffic. Monitoring global events and anticipating changes in flight demand is crucial for accurately assessing Aena’s growth prospects.

Potential headwinds from weakening passenger traffic

Aena’s reliance on passenger traffic makes it vulnerable to downturns in travel. Unforeseen circumstances, such as a global pandemic or natural disasters, can significantly reduce the number of passengers and create headwinds for the company. A proactive approach to risk management and contingency planning is vital to ensure Aena’s resilience in the face of potential challenges.

Author’s Recommendation: Buy Aena

Based on the comprehensive evaluation of Aena’s strengths, growth prospects, and potential risks, the author highly recommends buying Aena shares as an investment opportunity. Here are the reasons underlying this recommendation.

Reasons for the author’s recommendation

Aena’s position as the largest airport operator, its positive rebound in passenger traffic and financial results, and its strategic plan for future growth contribute to a favorable investment proposition. The company’s ability to adapt and thrive during challenging times showcases its resilience and strong market position.

Positive outlook for Aena’s growth

Aena’s expectation of increased passenger traffic, as well as the projected earnings growth and attractive valuation estimated by analysts, indicate a positive outlook for the company’s growth trajectory. These indicators align with the author’s confidence in Aena’s ability to generate returns for investors.

Potential returns on investment

Investing in Aena provides the opportunity for potential returns on investment. The company’s market-leading position, strategic initiatives, and positive financial performance position it well for sustainable growth. With careful portfolio management and a long-term perspective, investors can capitalize on Aena’s promising prospects.

Authors Recommendations: Buying Aena and Holding as Equal Weight

Author’s Recommendation: Holding as Equal Weight

In the context of a diversified portfolio, the author recommends holding Aena as an equal-weighted asset. This approach ensures appropriate diversification and risk management within an investment portfolio.

Explanation of ‘equal weight’ in a diversified portfolio

Holding Aena as an equal-weighted asset means allocating the same percentage of the portfolio to Aena shares as to other investments. This approach prevents excessive concentration in a single stock, minimizing the impact of potential fluctuations in Aena’s performance on the overall portfolio.

Benefits of holding Aena as an equal-weighted asset in a portfolio

By treating Aena as an equal-weighted asset, investors can achieve a well-balanced and diversified portfolio. This approach mitigates the specific risks associated with any single investment, enhancing the overall stability and potential returns of the portfolio.


In conclusion, Aena’s status as the largest airport operator, its positive rebound in passenger traffic and financial results, and its strategic plan for future growth position it as an attractive investment opportunity. With an optimistic outlook for growth, Aena offers the potential for favorable returns. However, investors should remain vigilant of potential risks, such as economic conditions and changes in flight demand. By buying Aena shares and holding them as an equal-weighted asset in a diversified portfolio, investors can align themselves with the company’s growth prospects while managing risk effectively.



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