4 Airline Stocks Ready to Take Flight

These airline stocks are ready to rally on solid guidance

airline stocks

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U.S. equities are consolidating on Tuesday, pausing for breath after a powerful rally on Monday driven by a turnaround in Chinese manufacturing activity. The market continues to focus on the action over in recently IPOed Lyft (NASDAQ:LYFT), which is breaking down from its debut price because — surprise, surprise — its actually super unprofitable.

Looking elsewhere, investors are focusing instead on stocks that have fundamental drivers behind them. Like smaller energy stocks, which I’ve focused on recently, as energy prices push higher heading into the summer driving season. Or housing names, rallying on hopes lower long-term interest rates will boost affordability and buying interest.

Another area to focus on is transportation, with airline stocks specifically seeing some buying interest on solid guidance. Here are four names to watch:

Delta Airlines (DAL)

Shares of Delta Airlines (NYSE:DAL) are surging higher, up more than 6% as I write this, after issuing upside guidance. The move takes prices back to levels not seen since early December, jumping up and over its 200-day moving average. Management cited expectations of 7% top-line growth, margin expansion, and $1.6 billion in shareholder returns.

The company will next report results on April 10 before the bell. Analysts are looking for earnings of 80 cents per share on revenues of $10.3 billion. When the company last reported on January 15, earnings of $1.30 beat estimates by four cents on a 5% rise in revenues.

American Airlines (AAL)

Shares of American Airlines (NADAQ:AAL) are rising off of triple-bottom support near the $29-a-share threshold, setting up another attempt at its 200-day moving average roughly 10% to the upside. Shares have been in a persistent downtrend since the beginning of 2018 as the airline has struggled to turn its service quality around. With 787 MAX aircraft still grounded, analysts are looking for supply constraints to bolster pricing power across the industry.

The company will next report results on April 25 before the bell. Analysts are looking for earnings of 59 cents per share on revenues of $10.6 billion. When the company last reported on January 24, earnings of $1.04 beat estimates by three cents on a 3.1% rise in revenues.

United Continental (UAL)

Shares of United Continental (NASDAQ:UAL) are challenging both their 50-day and 200-day moving averages, rallying off of triple-bottom support near the $77.50 threshold. Watch for a run at the late November highs, which would be worth a gain of more than 15% from here. Last month, CEO Oscar Munoz said that domestic airline demand remains strong.

The company will next report results on April 17 after the close. Analysts are looking for earnings of 96 cents per share on revenues of $9.6 billion. When the company last reported on January 15, earnings of $2.41 beat estimates by 39 cents on an 11% rise in revenues.

Southwest Airlines (LUV)

Shares of Southwest (NYSE:LUV) are pushing off of what looks like an inverse head-and-shoulders reversal pattern that traces a move back to its September high — which would be worth a gain of roughly 20% from here. Although the company was affected by the grounding of the 787 MAX airframe, investors are looking past this (on a belief Boeing (NYSE:BA) will be on the hook for required upgrades and fixes) to the company’s recent expansion of service to Hawaii.

The company will next report results on April 25 before the bell. Analysts are looking for earnings of 64 cents per share on revenues of $5.2 billion. When the company last reported on January 24, earnings of $1.17 beat estimates by nine cents on an 8.5% rise in revenues.

As of this writing, the writer held no positions in the aforementioned securities.


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