Why Qantas Airways Limited shares are still up today

Shares in Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) have held strong, up 2% to $5.69 at the time of writing, despite some bad press about corporate tax payments and fuel cost rises.

The Australian airline stalwart has seen share prices steadily gain since a January 9 low of $4.86, with a strong half-year results announcement on February 22 potentially buffering other bad news today.

Qantas announced a 15% increase in underlying first-half profit before tax of $976 million.

Results showed revenue was up 5.8% to $8.66 billion, with strong growth in the domestic network underpinning the rises by offsetting declines in the international route segment.

But it remains to be seen if news Qantas may have to start paying corporate tax again by 2019 will impact share prices, with Qantas CEO Alan Joyce signalling the payments could impact future guidance.

Fuel costs may also blow out for the airline, impacting future results, with forecasts the bill could be as high as $3.24 billion for the year, up from $3.04 billion last year.

Shareholders are likely impressed with the announcement of a $500 million buyback and special dividend, but the stock will be one to watch as expected changes come into play.

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Motley Fool contributor Carin Pickworth has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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.

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