Philip Saglimbeni

Despite Some Turbulence, Alaska Air Group Is Still Headed North

Since I last wrote about Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE:ALK) in January, the stock has appreciated approximately 30%. This outperformance, along with that of the domestic airline industry as a whole, was due to a number of key factors including fundamental benefits from major consolidation among the four largest flight brands, lower-than-expected fuel costs and higher passenger volumes. However, in recent months shares of the regional airliner have come under considerable pressure as the company faced several labor disputes with pilots/flight attendants and is now dealing with increased competition from other airliners in its signature Alaskan market.

Despite these challenges, Alaska Air Group remains a viable long-term investment. Company management has successfully renegotiated employee contracts to put the...

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