Decisive Bizjet Recovery ‘Elusive,’ Says JPMorgan

 - June 7, 2011, 10:30 AM

As mixed signals continue in the business jet market, JPMorgan North American Equity Research says in its latest industry update that a “decisive recovery [remains] elusive.” The investment firm notes positive trends such as “solid” first-quarter business jet orders announced by Bombardier last week, as well as declining pre-owned aircraft inventories. “The percentage of jets for sale has declined to the September 2008 level, and the recovery across categories portends intensifying new demand,” notes JPMorgan aerospace analyst Joseph Nadol III. According to the company’s data, pre-owned inventory of in-production models decreased last month by 0.2 percentage points, to 10.6 percent. By category, midsize and large-cabin jet inventories fell, while light jet inventories remained flat. Despite declining inventories, prices continued to soften. This is the bad news, JPMorgan says, since used aircraft prices “have historically been a better coincident indicator of improving demand for new aircraft.” A 3-percent hardening of prices between December and March was “encouraging,” but the price gains eroded in April and May. Last month, asking prices declined 1.4 percent to an average of $10.75 million, following a 2-percent descent in April. Paradoxically when viewed in the context of inventory trends, midsize and large-cabin jet prices decreased 3.6 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively, while light jet prices rose by 0.5 percent.