The great story that is Alaska Air Group (NYSE:ALK) has continued to roll on, with the stock racking up almost 60% gains over the past year. What makes Alaska Air special among the airlines isn't really a big mystery anymore - the company has limited itself to a somewhat narrow geographic focus, established a low cost base, and then leveraged good customer satisfaction into strong market share, good profitability, and an uncommonly strong balance sheet.
If there is a problem with top performers, it is in figuring out what more they can do to excel. To be sure, Delta (NYSE:DAL) is putting some pressure on Alaska Air, as are JetBlue (NASDAQ:JBLU) and Virgin America...
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