Saturday, April 07, 2012

Top Airline Stocks

During the last month, airline stocks have outperformed the Standard & Poor's 500. The Dow Jones U.S. Airlines Index was up 5.5% versus 4.5% for the S&P 500. This in spite of the recent news about pilot and flight attendant meltdowns, which you think might scare off a few passengers.

However, if the economy has hit bottom and is starting to to turn around, it might be worth taking a flier on airline stocks, as they may take off. According to the free list at, there are about twenty airline stocks, several of which pay dividends. Not all of them are in great financial shape, and you may have to look outside the United States for the better quality airline companies.

For example, Lan Airlines (LFL) is a Chile based airline that provides passenger and cargo air transportation services. The company has over 120 passenger planes and offers its primary services in Chile, Peru, Argentina, Colombia, and Ecuador. The stock trades at 20.5 times forward earnings and pays a yield of 2.3%. Revenues for the latest reported quarter were up 19.3%, however, earnings dropped 31.6%.

Domestically, there is the Dallas, Texas based Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV), which operates about 700 aircraft throughout the United States. The stock has a forward price to earnings ratio of 8.2 and even pays a small dividend of 0.2%. Quarterly earnings wer up 16% on a 32% boost in revenues.

For a free list of approximately 20 airline stocks which includes information about the price-to-earnings ratios and yields, go to

Disclosure: Author didn't own any of the above at the time the article was written.


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