Airline Shareholders Have Something to Cheer About

Despite expected declines in airline (NYSE:FAA) traffic around this Thanksgiving holiday, ticket prices are up 6% over last year. Airlines are reducing their available seats in an effort to keep ticket prices high.

High prices and high unemployment have led to a 2% decline in Thanksgiving passengers, but “capacity has been cut more than the percent of travelers that are down,” said Melissa Klurman, contributing editor at Southlake, Texas-based Travelocity.com, per Bloomberg. Three of the largest US carriers said they would cut flight capacity by around 3%, while Delta (NYSE:DAL) was planning to reduce seats by as much as 5%. Travelocity reports that domestic round-trip tickets are up $375 per person from where they were in the days around and including the 2010 turkey day.

While increased ticket prices are bad for the consumer, they are just about the only bright spot for airlines. Bloomberg quoted a note from Helane Becker, a Dahlman Rose & Co. analyst, to her clients that said, “The industry continues to operate around an 80 percent load factor, with pricing remaining very strong.” John Heimlich, ATA’s chief economist said that the 45% increase in fuel costs over last year, “erodes the benefit from increases in fares and fees for services such as early boarding. U.S. carriers that report earnings posted a 66 percent drop in net income in 2011’s first nine months and a profit margin of 0.9 percent,” per Bloomberg.

Here’s how airline stocks are trading:

  • Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE:DAL): DAL shares recently traded at $7.32, up $0.2, or 2.81%. Its market capitalization is $6.20 billion. They have traded in a 52-week range of $6.41 to $14.26. Volume today was 245,637 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 12,002,500 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 13.81, while trailing earnings are $0.53 per share. About the company: Delta Air Lines, Inc. provides scheduled air transportation for passengers, freight, and mail over a network of routes throughout the United States and internationally. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>
  • AMR Corporation (NYSE:AMR): AMR shares recently traded at $1.68, up $0.07, or 4.35%. Its market capitalization is $563.18 million. They have traded in a 52-week range of $1.55 to $8.89. Volume today was 202,139 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 11,404,600 shares. The company’s trailing earnings are $-2.93 per share. About the company: AMR Corporation operates an airline that provides scheduled passenger, freight, and mail service throughout North America, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, and the Pacific. The Company also provides connecting service throughout the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean. In addition, AMR provides aviation services, call center management services, and investment advisory services. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>
  • JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ:JBLU): JBLU shares recently traded at $3.57, up $0.09, or 2.59%. Its market capitalization is $1.06 billion. They have traded in a 52-week range of $3.40 to $7.24. Volume today was 79,557 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 4,065,230 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 14.94, while trailing earnings are $0.24 per share. About the company: JetBlue Airways Corporation provides nonstop passenger flight service through its Airbus A320 aircraft. The Company’s airline is based in New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport and currently flies to various destinations in the United States. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>
  • United Continental Holdings (NYSE:UAL): UAL shares recently traded at $16.33, up $0.43, or 2.7%. Its market capitalization is $5.40 billion. They have traded in a 52-week range of $15.51 to $29.04. Volume today was 147,081 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 5,677,030 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 9.38, while trailing earnings are $1.74 per share. About the company: United Continental Holdings Inc. is an airline holding company. The Company owns and operates airlines that transports persons, property and mail throughout the United Statesand abroad. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>
  • Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV): LUV shares recently traded at $7.71, up $0.21, or 2.8%. Its market capitalization is $6.00 billion. They have traded in a 52-week range of $7.15 to $13.63. Volume today was 3,600 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 9,730,490 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 39.31, while trailing earnings are $0.20 per share. The company pays a dividend of $0.02 per share for a dividend yield of 0.20%. About the company: Southwest Airlines Co. is a domestic airline that provides primarily short-haul, high-frequency, point-to-point service. The Company offers flights throughout the United States. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>

Don’t Miss: U.S. Consumers Spend Record Amounts Over Thanksgiving Weekend.

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