Why did the Qantas share price fly backwards in FY 2024?

Despite surging revenues, the Qantas share price lost ground in FY 2024. But why?

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The Qantas Airways Ltd (ASX: QAN) share price encountered some turbulence in the financial year just past.

Shares in the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) airline stock closed out FY 2023 trading for $6.20. On 28 June, the last trading day of FY 2024, shares ended the day trading for $5.85.

That saw the Qantas share price down 5.6% over the 12 months.

For some context, the ASX 200 gained 7.8% over this same period.

So, why did the Flying Kangaroo trail the benchmark index?

What happened with the Qantas share price in FY 2024?

The first month of FY 2024 started out strongly for the airline, with the Qantas share price up 7.9% at $6.69 on 24 July.

But not even the company's blockbuster FY 2023 results, released on 24 August, could keep the stock from sinking all the way to $4.74 a share by 19 October,

Highlights of those results included a 118% year on year increase in revenue to $19.8 billion, with underlying profit before tax of $2.5 billion, roaring back from an FY 2022 loss. Qantas also announced a 500 million on-market share buyback on the day.

However, the strong performance was overshadowed by a steady stream of negative publicity.

That included allegations from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) that Qantas sold tickets to flights that were already cancelled and the Federal Court ruling that the airline illegally fired 1,700 workers, outsourcing their jobs during the pandemic.

The Qantas share price also faced headwinds, with reports of lengthy flight delays and missing baggage. Investors were then caught off guard by CEO Alan Joyce's earlier-than-expected departure on 5 September.

The airline's new CEO, Vanessa Hudson, quickly rolled out plans to rebuild the company's brand and regain customer trust.

A welcome updraft

The Qantas share price took a marked turn for the better in March, leaping 16.8% from 6 March through to the end of FY 2024.

The big turnaround came not long after the ASX 200 airline released its half-year results on 22 February.

Qantas reported $11.1 billion in revenue for the six months, up 12.3% year on year. And while underlying profit before tax declined by 12.8%, profits still came in at a solid $1.3 billion. Qantas also announced another $400 million on-market share buyback on the day.

As for the new financial year, the Qantas share price is up 2.6% as we near the end of the first trading week of FY 2025.

Motley Fool contributor Bernd Struben has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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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