SOURCE: Five Star Equities

Five Star Equities

February 06, 2012 08:20 ET

Airline Stocks on the Upswing as Leaner Operations Boost Profits

Five Star Equities Provides Stock Research on United Continental & Southwest Airlines

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Feb 6, 2012) - Airline stocks have been on fire this year. The Guggenheim Airline ETF, which seeks to represent a modified equal-dollar weighted index designed to measure the performance of highly capitalized and liquid U.S. and international passenger airline companies, is up more than 24 percent in 2012 as higher ticket prices and leaner operations have boosted profits industry wide. Five Star Equities examines investing opportunities in the Airlines industry and provides Stock research on United Continental Holdings (NYSE: UAL) and Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE: LUV). Access to the full company reports can be found at:

According to The New York Times the airline industry's recipe for success has been straightforward: "fewer airlines, fewer planes and fewer seats combined with higher ticket prices and more fees." William S. Swelbar, a research engineer in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's International Center for Air Transportation, argues that "consolidation is having a significant impact on pricing, no doubt. And the industry has rid itself of unprofitable routes."

CNN reports that American Airlines' bankruptcy has many in the industry questioning if a merger is in its future.

Five Star Equities releases regular market updates on the Airlines industry so investors can stay ahead of the crowd and make the best investment decisions to maximize their returns. Take a few minutes to register with us free at and get exclusive access to our numerous stock reports and industry newsletters.

Southwest Airlines reported $0.09 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter ended December 31 2011, beating the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $0.08. For the first quarter of 2012, management said it expects passenger revenue to continue to improve and unit costs to increase compared to the year-ago quarter.

United Continental Holdings Inc.'s fourth quarter net loss was $138 million, or 42 cents, narrower than the $325 million, or $1.01, a year earlier. United's profit excluding some items was $109 million, or 30 cents a share. The carrier's fuel bill for the quarter jumped 26 percent to $3.11 billion and was its biggest expense.

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