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 US Airways Group, Inc. (NYSE: LCC) and Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV).
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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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U.S. Airways are currently in talks with AMR Corp's American Airlines regarding a possible merger. For the third quarter of 2012 the company posted a net income of $245 million, compared to $76 million in the year-ago quarter. "Looking forward, the revenue environment remains strong. As evidenced by these outstanding financial and operational results, US Airways is extremely well-positioned for the remainder of 2012 and beyond," said Doug Parker, company Chairman and CEO.
Southwest Airlines reported a net income of $16 million, or $.02 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $140 million, or $0.18 per diluted share in the third quarter of 2011. "While the economy remains a significant concern, we are encouraged, thus far, by October's bookings and revenue trends. Thus far in October 2012, passenger unit revenues are running ahead of the comparable year ago period by approximately four percent," said Gary C. Kelly, President, and CEO.
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