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How Wall Street Analysts View the Major Airlines

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Nov. 20 2020, Updated 4:02 p.m. ET

Analyst recommendations

Among the seven major carriers, most analysts seem to favor Delta Air Lines (DAL), which has a “buy” rating from 87.5% of the analysts. Next is Southwest Airlines (LUV), with 70.6% recommending a “buy” and 29.4% recommending a “hold.”

Alaska Air (ALK) has 69.2% analysts recommending a “buy” and 30.8% recommending a “hold.” United Continental (UAL) has 62.5% of the 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 Airways (JBLU) has 53.3% of analysts recommending a “buy,” 40% recommending a “hold,” and remaining 6.7% recommending a “sell.” For American Airlines (AAL), 43.8% of analysts recommend a “buy.”

Return potential

Delta Air Lines (DAL) has a target price of $61.33, which indicates a return potential of 29.4% to March 16’s closing price of $47.40.

American Airlines (AAL) had a target price of $54.13, indicating a return potential of 28.5% to March 17’s closing price of $42.13.

United Continental (UAL) had a target price of $84.80, which indicates a return potential of 25.4% to March 17’s closing price of $67.50.

Alaska Air (ALK) had a target price of $108.20, indicating a return potential of 14.9% to March 17’s closing price of $94.14.

JetBlue Airways (JBLU) had a target price of $24.92, which indicates a return potential of 24.5% to March 17’s closing price of $20.02.

Spirit Airlines (SAVE) had a target price of $64.50, indicating a return potential of 26.3% to March 17’s closing price of $51.11.

Upcoming events

Delta Air Lines will kick off the 1Q17 earnings season as usual. The expected earnings dates are as follows:

  • Delta Air Lines (DAL) – April 12, 2017
  • Alaska Air Group (ALK) – April 19, 2017
  • American Airlines– 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 will be covering all of these earnings releases, so be sure to visit the Market Realist Airlines page.

Investors can gain exposure to the industry by investing in the SPDR S&P Transportation ETF (XTN), which invests ~15% of its holdings in airlines.

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