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Airline Stocks: What Wall Street Analysts Recommend

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Analyst recommendations

Among the seven major carriers, most analysts seem to favor Delta Air Lines (DAL). Delta Air Lines has a “buy” rating from 81.3% of the analysts. Next among Berkshire Hathaway’s (BRK-B) airline stocks is Southwest Airlines (LUV), with 70.6% recommending a “buy” and 29.4% recommending a “hold.” Alaska Air (ALK) has 69.2% of analysts recommending a “buy” and 30.8% recommending a “hold.” United Continental (UAL) has 62.5% of analysts recommending a “buy” and 37.5% recommending a “hold.”

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Spirit Airlines (SAVE) has 53.8% of analysts recommending a “buy” and 46.2% recommending a “hold.” JetBlue (JBLU) has 53.3% of analysts recommending a “buy,” 40% recommending a “hold,” and the remaining 6% recommending a “sell.” For American Airlines (AAL), 43.8% of analysts recommend a “buy” on AAL, 43.8% recommend a “hold,” and 12.5% recommend a “sell.”

Return potential

According to the Bloomberg consensus of 12-month target prices, JetBlue Airways (JBLU) currently has the highest return potential of 30%, followed by DAL at 23%. The next in line is Spirit Airlines, with a 19.8% return potential, followed by LUV at an 18% return potential and United Continental with a 16.5% return potential.

AAL has a return potential of ~15.3%. According to analysts, Alaska Air has the lowest return potential of 6%.

Upcoming events

Delta will kick off the 1Q17 earnings season as usual. Expected earnings date are as follows.

  • Delta Air Lines (DAL): April 17, 2017
  • United Continental (UAL): April 19, 2017
  • Alaska Air Group (ALK): April 19, 2017
  • Allegiant Travel (ALGT): April 25, 2017
  • JetBlue (JBLU): April 26, 2017
  • Southwest Airlines (LUV): April 26, 2017
  • American Airlines (AAL): April 27, 2017
  • Spirit Airlines (SAVE): May 7, 2017

We’ll be covering all of these releases, so be sure to visit Market Realist. Investors can gain exposure to airlines by investing in the SPDR S&P Transportation ETF (XTN), which invests ~22% of its portfolio in airlines.

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