SOURCE: Five Star Equities

Five Star Equities

October 29, 2012 08:20 ET

IATA Forecasts North American Carriers Profits to Rise by $500 Million in 2012

Five Star Equities Provides Stock Research on Delta Air Lines and JetBlue Airways

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Oct 29, 2012) - The U.S. Airlines Industry has reported respectable earnings for the third quarter despite facing a slowdown in the global economy. The Guggenheim Airline ETF (FAA), which tracks the performance of the NYSE ARCA Global Airline Index, has posted a respectable gain of 8 percent over the last three months, compared to the S&P 500 Index's gain of 5.5 percent over the same period. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Airlines Industry and provides equity research on Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE: DAL) and JetBlue Airways Corp. (NASDAQ: JBLU).

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Airlines companies have done an admirable job battling rising fuel costs by initiating fare hikes and promotions to keep planes full. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) recently raised their profit outlook for the global airline industry to $4.1 billion in 2012 from their previous estimate of $3 billion. North American carriers saw the biggest increase as the IATA raised it forecasts by $500 million to $1.9 billion.

"Every airline has to do a little bit of cost cutting because the world is a different place today than we thought six months ago, but there are some encouraging signs," said Jeff Kauffman, a Sterne, Agee & Leach Inc. analyst. "Despite all the doom and gloom, these airlines are making some pretty good money in a pretty slow environment."

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Delta Air Lines serves more than 160 million customers each year. Delta is investing more than $3 billion through 2013 in airport facilities and global products, services and technology to enhance the customer experience in the air and on the ground. For the third quarter of 2012 the company reported profits nearly doubled when compared to the year-ago quarter.

Shares of JetBlue Airways are up over 7 percent in the last month. For the third quarter of 2012 the company reported net income of$45 million, compared to $35 million in third quarter 2011, an increase of 29 percent. "We continue to execute on our profitable growth strategy in Boston and the Caribbean & Latin America, which drove record revenue performance during the third quarter. At the same time, a continued focus on cost control and operational efficiency were critical in delivering these strong results," said Dave Barger, JetBlue's President and CEO.

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