SAS shares reflect investor concerns

Investors continue to lose confidence in Scandinavian Airlines, as the market value of SAS shares now amount to less than half the book value of the airline's fleet of aircraft.

SAS’s roughly 30 kronor ($5) share price hasn’t been seen since 2003 and amounts to an overall market value of less than 5 billion kronor, according to E24.

While SAS shares were up nearly 3 percent on Tuesday to 30.90 kronor, the stock has shed nearly 80 percent of its value in the last year.

All European airlines are struggling with higher operating costs, but SAS appears to be one of the hardest hit.

Since the turn of the year, SAS shares are down around 60 percent, among the worst performers on the Stockholm stock exchange.

The current market value is less than 10 percent of the airline’s expected turnover for 2008, and less than a third of its capital.

According to E24’s analysis, SAS ought to have a market capitalization of around 16 billion kronor and a stock price of 99 kronor per share.

At the turn of the year, SAS valued its own aircraft at 10.8 billion kronor, more than twice what the company’s is worth as calculated by share price.

Perhaps most difficult for proud Swedes at accept about SAS’s dismal share performance is that Finland-based Finnair now has a higher market capitalization than Scandinavian Airlines, despite having only 63 aircraft compared with SAS’s fleet of 97 aircraft.