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Why the Sydney Airport share price has tumbled lower today

The Sydney Airport Holdings Pty Ltd (ASX: SYD) share price has dropped lower following the release of its latest traffic update.

At the time of writing the airport operator’s shares are down 2% to $7.66

How did the airport perform in April?

In April Sydney Airport saw 2,284,000 passengers pass through its domestic gates. This was a decline of 1.3% on the prior corresponding period.

Fortunately, a 2.5% increase in international passengers to 1,399,000 helped lifted its total monthly passenger numbers by 0.1% on the prior corresponding period to 3,683,000.

Year to date the airport has now experienced a 0.7% decline in total passengers to 14,690,000. This decline is largely due to a 1.8% decline in domestic passengers and has offset a 1.2% increase in international passengers.

Sydney Airport’s chief executive officer, Geoff Culbert, explained that subdued load factors and capacity management had weighed on the domestic market.

He said: “Domestically, subdued load factors and continued capacity management by airlines drove a reduction in domestic passengers for the month despite the later Easter holiday.”

But those Easter holidays had a positive impact on international passengers.

Culbert added: “International passenger numbers outperformed the prior corresponding period by 2.5%, while Domestic passenger numbers declined by 1.3% compared to April 2018. International passenger growth was positively impacted by the shift in Easter timing.”

Visitor numbers were particularly strong from the United States and The Philippines, where Sydney Airport saw a 13.2% and 12.1% increase, respectively, on the prior corresponding period.

Why is Sydney Airport’s share price tumbling lower?

As this result was more or less in line with expectations, investors may be wondering why Sydney Airport’s shares have taken a hit today.

It appears as though some investors are rotating out of the airport operator’s shares following the surprise election result.

In anticipation of Labor winning the election and making changes to the dividend imputation system, many investors switched to unfranked dividend shares like Sydney Airport and Transurban.

But with the Coalition’s surprise win this weekend, it looks as though some investors are moving funds back into dividend shares that offer fully franked dividends such as Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA), and the rest of the big four.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Sydney Airport Holdings Limited and Transurban Group. 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 Scott Phillips.

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