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.


‘We agree to disagree’: Still no progress in marathon SAS strike talks

By lunchtime on Friday, talks between the Scandinavian airline SAS and unions representing striking pilots were still stuck on "difficult issues".

'We agree to disagree': Still no progress in marathon SAS strike talks

“We agree that we disagree,” Roger Klokset, from the Norwegian pilots’ union, said at lunchtime outside the headquarters of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise in Stockholm, where talks are taking place. “We are still working to find a solution, and so long as there is still some point in continuing negotiations, we will do that.” 

Mats Ruland, a mediator for the Norwegian government, said that there were “still several difficult issues which need to be solved”. 

At 1pm on Friday, the two sides took a short break from the talks for lunch, after starting at 9am. On Thursday, they negotiated for 15 hours, breaking off at 1am on Friday morning. 

READ ALSO: What’s the latest on the SAS plane strike?

Marianne Hernæs, SAS’s negotiator on Friday told journalists she was tired after sitting at the negotiating table long into the night. 

“We need to find a model where we can meet in the middle and which can ensure that we pull in the income that we are dependent on,” she said. 

Klokset said that there was “a good atmosphere” in the talks, and that the unions were sticking together to represent their members.

“I think we’ve been extremely flexible so far. It’s ‘out of this world’,’ said Henrik Thyregod, with the Danish pilots’ union. 

“This could have been solved back in December if SAS had not made unreasonable demands on the pilots,” Klokset added. 

The strike, which is now in its 12th day, has cost SAS up to 130m kronor a day, with 2,550 flights cancelled by Thursday, affecting 270,000 passengers.