Long Island Power Authority is the most disliked company in the U.S., the latest ratings from the American Customer Satisfaction Index show, with Northeast Utilities (NU) #2. TV broadcasters and airlines dominate the top ten as Charter (CHTR) and Comcast (CMCSA) take the third and fourth places respectively, and United Airlines (UAL) the fifth. Facebook (FB) is 12th and BofA (BAC) 15th.
United Continental (UAL +2.1%) and Southwest Airlines (LUV +1.9%) could issue a profit warning tied to fuel hedging losses as earlier as tomorrow, according to a report that aired on CNBC citing inside sources.
United Continental (UAL +0.9%) expects to take delivery of its first Boeing (BA +0.3%) 787 this September, according to leaked internal documents. If it pans out, United will be the first U.S. carrier to have its hands on the new highly-anticipated model.
International airlines have begun to auction off through their websites unreserved first class seats in a growing trend that has at least some characteristics of a win-win proposition. While carriers can increase their revenue by selling unused luxury seats, coach passengers who prefer choice seats can avoid paying excessive fares or cashing in upgrades. Waiting to step in stateside: UAL, LUV, DAL, LCC, JBLU, ALK, HA, SAVE, ALGT.
The global airline industry will likely post a second consecutive year of net profit declines, says the IATA, as the impact of the eurozone debt crisis offsets the boost from lower oil prices, stronger-than-expected growth in passenger traffic and an improved freight market. The expected industry net profit of $3B is less than half the $7.9B of 2011, and a far cry from 2010's $15.8B.
United Continental (UAL) says its reached a tentative agreement with the Association of Flight Attendants, covering flight attendants from the company's Continental subsidiary, almost three months ahead of schedule. Flight attendants are set to vote on the agreement in the coming weeks.
Airline stocks could get a lift as more analysts come out with takes that yesterday's selloff was overdone. Following up JPMorgan's note highlighting that it was local competition and not macroeconomic factors behind Delta's May traffic bust, Sterne Agee is also looking for a sector rally. Premarket: DAL +1.0%, UAL +1.2%, JBLU +1.4%.
Yesterday's takedown of the airline sector after Delta (DAL) reported weaker-than-expected May traffic could be overwrought, according to JPMorgan's Jamie Baker. After digging into the numbers, he says an attack by Southwest Airlines (LUV) on the Atlanta market with promotions may have hit Delta's May numbers but has little relevance for other carriers. UAL, JBLU, LCC.
Airline stocks show notable weakness in early trading despite oil prices moving in the right direction. Traders lament the possibility that a slumping global economy could thwart growth in business travel. Decliners: DAL -6.3%, UAL -4.1%, LCC -4.1%, JBLU -2.4%.
Coverage of Delta (DAL), US Airways (LCC) and United Continental (UAL) is initiated at Imperial Capital at Outperform with respective price targets of $19, $20 and $32. Delta had already reached a 52-week high during the session, sparked by falling oil prices; also a possible factor was American Airlines' (AAMRQ.PK) assertion that it can survive without a merger.
Deutsche Bank sees consolidation in the global airline industry as a way out for pressured carriers, as it identifies Qantas (QUBSF.PK) ripe for the picking. In addition, analysts with the bank believe AirAsia (AIABF.PK), Air China (AIRYY.PK), Delta Air Lines (DAL), United Continental (UAL) and US Airways Group (LCC) are in the mix to seek partners to improve capital efficiency.
Falling jet fuel prices could save airlines ~$5.5B, yet analysts have failed to recognize the sector's huge growth potential and continue to substantially undervalue airline stocks, J.P. Morgan says. The firm expects net profits to rise ~20% at Alaska Air (ALK), ~40% at JetBlue (JBLU) and Southwest (LUV), and over 50% at US Airways (LCC) and United Continental (UAL).
A strong rally in airline stocks (NYSE Arca Airline ETF +4.2%) still has legs with US Airways (LCC +9.1%) and United Continental (UAL +5.2%) leading the charge. Comments from JPMorgan's Jamie Baker that earnings estimates don't reflect the positive impact of lower jet fuel prices are helping tip sentiment in the sector.
United Airlines (UAL +3.5%) continues to stumble in its efforts to combine the United and Continental reservation systems. The issue has escalated beyond just sitting as fodder for message board complaints and now threatens revenue, according to reports. An especially prickly group - elite frequent fliers - make up 25% of the carrier's revenue and are viewed as increasingly susceptible to bailing out on UAL if their travel schedules are disrupted.