Why the Sydney Airport Holdings Ltd share price is soaring today

Shares of Sydney Airport Holdings Ltd (ASX: SYD) are soaring more than 2.4% higher today following the release of its February traffic performance.

The latest figures were impressively strong across the board and today’s result continues to underpin the growth Sydney Airport has delivered over recent years.

The airport witnessed 3.29 million passengers transit through its doors during February – an increase of 10% over the previous month. For the year-to-date, passenger numbers have increased by 8.7% compared to the previous corresponding period in 2015.

International arrivals were particularly strong, driven by inbound tourists from China, USA, Korea, Japan and the UK. International departures also grew strongly with additional seat capacity helping to fly more passengers to Indonesia, Japan, Chile and China. Overall, monthly international passenger growth over the past 12 months has been increasing at 6.1% – a figure well above the historical long-term trend of the airport.

Additional seat capacity also helped to boost domestic passenger growth by 8.5% over the previous month and by 7.3% over the year to date.

While these numbers appear exceptionally strong on face value, investors need to factor in the additional day for the Leap year and that Lunar New Year celebrations occurred earlier this year, compared to last year. This obviously has helped to inflate the February figures, but nevertheless, they still appear fairly robust even once these factors are taken into account.

It is clear from these figures that the lower Australian dollar is helping to drive inbound tourists and this should be good news for other tourism related companies like Mantra Group Ltd (ASX: MTR), Crown Resorts Ltd (ASX: CWN), Sealink Travel Group Ltd (ASX: SLK) and Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN).

Sydney Airport’s recent growth in outbound travellers also provides further evidence that Australians will continue to travel domestically and internationally irrespective of movements in the currency. This should provide confidence to investors of Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT) and Webjet Limited (ASX: WEB), both of which are talked down when the Australian dollar depreciates.

Foolish takeaway

Today’s figures from Sydney Airport further strengthens the case that it is probably the leading infrastructure stock on the ASX. Shareholders of Transurban Group (ASX: TCL) may argue this point, but I believe Sydney Airport has a slightly better growth outlook and additional levers it can pull to generate further growth over the medium term.

The shares have performed extremely well over the past five years, delivering shareholders an average annual return of 23%. Despite this, the shares look fully valued at current levels and I would wait for a dip in the share price before buying.

Sydney Airport had a great run but here is Why These 3 Blue Chip Shares Look Set to Soar in 2016

Discover The Motley Fool's top 3 blue chips for 2016. These 3 'new breed' shares pay fully franked dividends AND offer the very real prospect of significant capital appreciation. Simply click here to gain access to this comprehensive FREE investment report.

No credit card required.

Motley Fool contributor Christopher Georges has no position in any stocks mentioned. Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

Two New Stock Picks Every Month!

Not to alarm you, but you’re about to miss a very important event! Chief Investment Advisor Scott Phillips and his team at Motley Fool Share Advisor are about to reveal their latest official stock recommendation. The premium “buy alert” will be unveiled to members and you can be among the first to act on the tip.

Don’t let this opportunity pass you by – this is your chance to get in early!

Simply enter your email now to find out how you can get instant access.

By clicking this button, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. We will use your email address only to keep you informed about updates to our website and about other products and services we think might interest you. You can unsubscribe from Take Stock at anytime. Please refer to our Financial Services Guide (FSG) for more information.