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What Analysts Recommend for Major Airlines’ Stock

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Nov. 20 2020, Updated 4:37 p.m. ET

Analyst recommendations

Among the seven major carriers, most analysts seem to favor Delta Air Lines (DAL). Delta Air Lines has a “buy” rating from 87.5% of analysts covering it. Next is Southwest Airlines (LUV), which has 70.6% of analysts recommending “buy” and 29.4% recommending “hold.” Alaska Airlines (ALK) has 69.2% of analysts recommending “buy” and 30.8% recommending “hold.” United Continental (UAL) has 62.5% of analysts recommending “buy” and 37.5% recommending “hold.”

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Spirit Airlines (SAVE) has 53.8% of analysts recommending “buy” and 46.2% recommending “hold.” JetBlue Airways (JBLU) has 53.3% of analysts recommending “buy,” 40% recommending “hold,” and 6.7% recommending “sell.” For American Airlines (AAL), 43.8% recommend “buy,” 43.8% recommend “hold,” and 12.5% recommend “sell.”

Return potential

According to a Bloomberg consensus of 12-month target prices, JetBlue currently has the highest return potential of 25.4%, followed by Spirit Airlines at 22%. Next is Delta Air Lines, with a 20.9% return potential, and American Airlines with a ~16.5% return potential. United Continental has a 15.9% return potential and Alaska Airlines has a 10.8% return potential. According to analysts, Southwest Airlines and Allegiant Travel have the lowest return potential, of 9.3% and 6.5%, respectively.

Upcoming events

Delta will kick off the 1Q17 earnings results season, as usual. Earnings are expected to be announced as follows:

  • Delta Air Lines (DAL) – April 12, 2017
  • Alaska Airlines (ALK) – April 19, 2017
  • American Airlines (AAL) – April 20, 2017
  • United Continental (UAL) – April 20, 2017
  • Spirit Airlines (SAVE) – April 24, 2017
  • JetBlue Airways (JBLU) – April 24, 2017
  • Allegiant Travel (ALGT) – April 25, 2017
  • Southwest Airlines (LUV) – April 27, 2017

We’ll be covering all of these releases, so be sure to visit the Market Realist Airlines page. Investors can gain exposure to the industry through the iShares Transportation Average ETF (IYT), which invests 23% of its portfolio in airlines.

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