Top 10 Airline Companies To Watch For 2015

Although business headlines still tout earnings numbers, many investors have moved past net earnings as a measure of a company’s economic output. That’s because earnings are very often less trustworthy than cash flow, since earnings are more open to manipulation based on dubious judgment calls.

Earnings’ unreliability is one of the reasons Foolish investors often flip straight past the income statement to check the cash flow statement. In general, by taking a close look at the cash moving in and out of the business, you can better understand whether the last batch of earnings brought money into the company, or merely disguised a cash gusher with a pretty headline.

Calling all cash flows
When you are trying to buy the market’s best stocks, it’s worth checking up on your companies’ free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That’s what we do with this series. Today, we’re checking in on Monolithic Power Systems (Nasdaq: MPWR  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.

Top 10 Airline Companies To Watch For 2015: Energie Holdings Inc (ELED)

Energie Holdings Inc, formerly Alas Aviation Corporation, incorporated on June 10, 2013, is in the process of acquiring, assembling and operating passenger airlines, air cargo and related ground service operators. The Company’s business model includes purchasing low-scale regional operators then assembles and integrates them as subsidiaries. Corporacion Ygnus Air, S.A. (Cygnus) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company. It is engaged in acquisition discussions with several operators throughout Europe and around the world.

Cygnus is an aeronautical company is an integrated provider of air cargo transportation specializing in medium and long-range cargo routes. Cygnus operates a fleet of two Boeing 757-200PCF cargo jets to Europe and Africa. Cygnus has managed multi-plane operations, carrying both freight and passengers throughout Spain, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Peter Graham]

    Small cap stocks Wi-Fi Wireless Inc (OTCMKTS: WFWL), Energie Holdings Inc (OTCMKTS: ELED) and Trend Exploration, Inc (OTCMKTS: TRDX) surged 47.06%, 25% and 12.50%, respectively, last Friday. However, none of these small cap stocks appear to be the subject of paid promotions or investor relations activities – something that could be a good thing for investors who are not traders. Keeping that in mind, are these three small cap stocks going to be winners over the long term? Here is a closer look to help you decide on an investing or trading strategy:

Top 10 Airline Companies To Watch For 2015: Copa Holdings SA (CPA)

Copa Holdings, S.A. (Copa Holdings), incorporated on May 06, 1998, is a Latin American provider of airline passenger and cargo service through its two principal operating subsidiaries, Copa Airlines and Copa Colombia. Copa Airlines operates from its position in the Republic of Panama, and Copa Colombia provides service within Colombia and international flights from various cities in Colombia to Panama, Venezuela, Ecuador, Mexico, Cuba, Guatemala and Costa Rica, complemented with service within Colombia. As of December 31, 2012, the Company operated a fleet of 83 aircraft with an average age of 5.13 years; consisting of 57 modern Boeing 737-Next Generation aircraft and 26 Embraer 190 aircraft. . As of December 31, 2012, the Company offers approximately 334 daily scheduled flights among 64 destinations in 29 countries in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean, mainly from its Panama City Hub.

Copa provides passengers with access to flights to more th an 150 other destinations through codeshare arrangements with UAL pursuant to which each airline places its name and flight designation code on the other’s flights. As of December 31, 2012, Copa had firm orders, including purchase and lease commitments, for 35 additional Boeing 737-Next Generation aircraft. Copa also has options for an additional 14 Boeing 737-Next Generation aircraft.

The Company competes with Avianca-Taca, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and LAN Group.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jayson Derrick]

    Analysts at JPMorgan maintained an Overweight rating on Copa Holdings (NYSE: CPA) with a price target raised to $168 from a previous $163. Shares lost 0.25 percent, closing at $125.38.

  • [By Will Ashworth]

    I don’t know what’s going to happen in six months, let alone 20 years. However, I do know that OLED plays in a very exciting space, and Discovery Capital still seems to agree. Financially, OLED stock is solid, and if things go the company’s way in the coming years, it should get big in a hurry.

    Best Stocks #3 (Midcap): Copa Holdings (CPA)

    I’m a big believer in Latin America. While it has its troubles like every other emerging market, I continue to view its growing middle class with envy. While our middle class is being hallowed out, Latin America’s is growing exponentially. The U.S. was never more secure economically than when its middle class was growing, so history has demonstrated what this can do for a country.

  • [By Asit Sharma]

    The airline industry has a singular talent for draining the pockets of well-intentioned investors. Highly leveraged balance sheets and bankruptcies are the norm. Significant labor costs and unpredictable jet fuel prices wreak havoc on variable costs. Yet some airlines generate solid returns quarter after quarter. Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK  ) , Ryanair (NASDAQ: RYAAY  ) , Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV  ) , and Copa Holdings (NYSE: CPA  ) each manage to be consistently profitable. Let’s examine a few themes they share in common, and zero in on their individual strategic ideas.

  • [By Arie Goren]

    After running this screen on May 21, 2013, before the markets’ open, I discovered the following eight stocks: Sunoco Logistics Partners LP (SXL), Leggett & Platt Inc (LEG), Copa Holdings SA (CPA), RPC Inc. (RES), Tupperware Brands Corp. (TUP), Herbalife Ltd. (HLF), John Wiley & Sons Inc. (JW.A) and C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc. (CHRW).

Top 10 Airline Companies To Watch For 2015: Southwest Airlines Co (LUV)

Southwest Airlines Co., incorporated on March 9, 1967, operates Southwest Airlines, a passenger airline, which provides scheduled air transportation in the United States. As of December 31, 2011, the Company was serving 72 cities in 37 states throughout the United States. During the year ended December 31, 2011, the Company added addition services in two new states and three new cities: Charleston, South Carolina; Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina; and Newark, New Jersey. Southwest provides point-to-point. On May 2, 2011, the Company acquired AirTran Holdings, Inc. (AirTran).

AirTran’s route system provides hub-and-spoke, rather than point-to-point, service, with approximately half of AirTran’s flights originating or terminating at its hub in Atlanta, Georgia. AirTran also serves a range of markets with non-stop service from bases of operation in Baltimore, Maryland; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Orlando, Florida. As of December 31, 2011, AirTran was serv ing 68 United States and near-international destinations, including San Juan, Puerto Rico; Cancun, Mexico; Montego Bay, Jamaica; Nassau, The Bahamas; Oranjestad, Aruba; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, and Bermuda. As of January 31, 2012, AirTran served 65 destinations. During 2011, approximately 71% of Southwest’s customers flew non-stop, and Southwest’s average aircraft trip stage length was 664 miles with an average duration of approximately 1.8 hours.

As of December 31, 2011, Southwest offered 25 weekday roundtrips from Dallas Love Field to Houston Hobby, 13 weekday roundtrips from Phoenix to Las Vegas, 13 weekday roundtrips from Burbank to Oakland, and 12 weekday roundtrips from Los Angeles International to Oakland. Southwest offers connecting service opportunities from over 60 Southwest cities to different Volaris airports in Mexico including Aguascalientes, Guadalajara, Mexico City (MEX), Mexico City-Toluca (TLC), Morelia, and Zacatecas. The Company’ s International Connect portal conducts two separate transac! tions: one with Southwest’s reservation system and one with Volaris’s reservation system.

Southwest bundles fares into three categories: Wanna Get Away, Anytime, and Business Select. Wanna Get Away fares are lowest fares. Business Select fares are refundable and changeable, and funds may be applied toward future travel on Southwest. Business Select fares also include additional perks, such as priority boarding, a frequent flyer point multiplier, priority security and ticket counter access in select airports, and one complimentary adult beverage coupon for the day of travel. The Company’s Internet Website, southwest.com, is the avenue for Southwest Customers to purchase tickets online. During 2011, southwest.com accounted for approximately 78% of all Southwest bookings. During 2011, approximately 84% of Southwest’s Passenger revenues came through its Website, including revenues from SWABIZ, the Company’s business travel reservation Web page.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By WWW.DAILYFINANCE.COM]

    www.ea.com There were plenty of winners and losers this week, including a merger of two fast-growing real estate website operators and a theme park operator taking another hit. Here’s a rundown of the week’s smartest moves and biggest blunders. Tesla Motors (TSLA) — Winner The country’s coolest automaker — and one of the hottest stocks over the past two years — continues to grow in popularity. The maker of luxury plug-in electric cars posted a better than expected adjusted profit in its latest quarter, with revenue nearly doubling. Tesla is on track to deliver 35,000 of its Model S sedans this year. It also announced on Thursday that it expects to produce 60,000 cars next year as the Model X crossover joins its lineup. Tesla’s rich multiples aren’t for the squeamish, but the company seems to be revolutionizing the automotive industry. One can only imagine how things will be when it starts rolling out its more reasonably priced Model III car in three years. SeaWorld (SEAS) — Loser SeaWorld can’t seem to catch a break, even when misfortune results in denial. SeaWorld and Southwest Airlines (LUV) are ending their marketing partnership after 26 years. The relationship had Southwest promoting the marine life theme park operator on some of its planes and SeaWorld offering Southwest-branded relaxation and charging stations. Anti-SeaWorld protestors had demonstrated at Southwest’s headquarters earlier this year, and more than 32,000 people had signed an online petition at change.org urging the air carrier to end its association with SeaWorld. However, this already unfortunate story makes the cut this week because of SeaWorld’s explanation on why the two companies will part ways when the latest contract is up at the end of the year. “With an increasing international visitor base, SeaWorld is looking to focus on new and growing markets in Latin America and Asia, among others,” SeaWorld explains in a joint statement with Southwest, almost as if it’s saying that

  • [By WWW.DAILYFINANCE.COM]

    Danny Johnston/AP WASHINGTON — The Federal Aviation Administration said Monday it is proposing a $12 million civil fine against Southwest Airlines (LUV) for failing to comply with safety regulations related to repairs on Boeing (BA) 737 jetliners. It is the second-largest fine the agency has proposed against an airline. The largest proposed fine was against American Airlines for $24.2 million in August 2010. That one was ultimately settled for $24.9 million as part of American’s bankruptcy proceedings, although the final settlement included other safety violations not part of the original proposal. The FAA said that beginning in 2006 Southwest made “extreme makeover” alterations to eliminate potential cracking of the aluminum skin on 44 jetliners. An FAA investigation determined that Southwest’s contractor, Aviation Technical Services Inc. of Everett, Washington, failed to follow proper procedures for replacing the fuselage as well as other work on the planes, the agency said. All of the work was done under the supervision of Southwest, which was responsible for seeing that it was done properly, the FAA said. Southwest, which is based in Dallas, then returned the planes to service in 2009 and began flying them even after the FAA “put the airline on notice that these aircraft were not in compliance” with safety regulations, the agency said. During its investigation, the FAA also found that Aviation Technical Services’ workers applied sealant beneath the new skin panels but didn’t install fasteners in all of the rivet holes fast enough for the sealant to be effective. “This could have resulted in gaps between the skin and the surface to which it was being mounted. Such gaps could allow moisture to penetrate the skin and lead to corrosion,” FAA said. The contractor also failed to follow requirements to properly place the planes on jacks and shore them up while the work was being performed, the FAA said. If a plane is shored improperly during skin replac

  • [By WWW.DAILYFINANCE.COM]

    Getty ImagesAruba is one of Southwest’s new destinations. At the beginning of July, Southwest Airlines (LUV) did something it hadn’t previously done in its 43 years of existence: It landed a Southwest-branded commercial flight in a foreign country. Its move abroad is a departure for the carrier, which over the decades built a reputation as a charmingly low-frills airline flying only domestic routes. In a tough industry, it’s done well with this business profile, so why is it starting to go overseas now? International Income Domestic air travel is growing relatively slowly. In 2013, total passenger numbers for intra-U.S. voyages rose by less than 1 percent on a year-over-year basis, and just over 4 percent from 2009 to 2013. Those growth numbers for international travel, meanwhile, were 3 percent and 17 percent, respectively. American Airlines Group (AAL) brought in around 40 percent of its total $23 billion or so in passenger revenues from international flights in fiscal 2013. United Continental (UAL) doesn’t break down its take by domestic versus international hauling. It does, however, admit that for June its revenue passenger miles (a key figure of total paying customer volume) for domestic flights totaled 8.36 billion, while that for international came in at 8.40 billion — an almost exact 50/50 split. Cheaper Caribbean Southwest plans to use its famous discounts to win business for its new routes — the nearby vacation destinations of Jamaica, the Bahamas and Aruba. For example, booking one of Southwest’s round-trip, nonstop flights from Atlanta to Montego Bay, Jamaica, for midweek departure and return in September at the lowest available fare recently brought up a ticket for just under $300. The cheapest option for a nonstop round trip for the same dates on Priceline Group’s (PCLN) Kayak booking engine was a bit over $400 from Delta (DAL). That was similar to the price returned from a search on the airline’s own site. Meanwhile, Priceline’s propr

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Fintzen calls Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines (LUV) his “top ideas,” and also likes Spirit Airlines (SAVE), which he sees successfully growing into a sizable leisure void and yet another option for those looking to raise domestic exposure.

Top 10 Airline Companies To Watch For 2015: SkyWest Inc (SKYW)

SkyWest, Inc. (SkyWest), incorporated in 1972, through subsidiaries, SkyWest Airlines, Inc. (SkyWest Airlines) and ExpressJet Airlines, Inc. (ExpressJet) operates the regional airline in the United States. In addition, the Company provides ground handling services for other airlines throughout its system. The Company operates in two segments: SkyWest Airlines and ExpressJet. On December 31, 2011, its subsidiary, ExpressJet Airlines, Inc. (ExpressJet Delaware) was merged into its subsidiary, Atlantic Southeast Airlines, Inc. (Atlantic Southeast), with the surviving company named ExpressJet Airlines, Inc. (the ExpressJet Combination). ExpressJet includes the operations of Atlantic Southeast Airlines, Inc. (Atlantic Southeast) and ExpressJet Airlines, Inc. (ExpressJet Delaware), which is prior to the ExpressJet Combination.

As of December 31, 2011, SkyWest and ExpressJet offered scheduled passenger and air freight service with approximately 4,000 total daily dep artures to different destinations in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. All of its flights are operated as Delta Connection, United Express, Continental Express, US Airways Express or Alaska under code-share arrangements with Delta, United Air Lines, Inc. (United), Continental Airlines, Inc. (Continental), US Airways Group, Inc. (US Airways) and Alaska Airlines (Alaska). As of December 31, 2011, its consolidated fleet consisted of a total of 732 aircraft, of which 443 were assigned to United and Continental, 268 were assigned to Delta, eight were in preparation for new code-share assignments, five were assigned to Alaska, four were subleased to affiliated entities, two were assigned to US Airways and two were subleased to unaffiliated entities. In addition, it provides electronic or paper copies of its filings free of charge upon request.

As of December 31, 2011, it operated two types of regional jet aircraft: the Bombardier Aerospace (Bombardi er) regional jet, which include the 50-seat Bombardier CRJ20! 0 Regional Jet (the CRJ200), the 70-seat Bombardier CRJ700 Regional Jet (the CRJ700) and the 70-90-seat Bombardier CRJ900 Regional Jet (the CRJ900), and the 50-seat Embraer ERJ-145 regional jet (ERJ145). As of December 31, 2011, it also operated the 30-seat Embraer Brasilia EMB-120 turboprop (the Brasilia turboprop). During the year ended December 31, 2011, approximately 65.2% of the Company’s aggregate capacity was operated under the United Express Agreements and Continental Express Agreement, approximately 33.6% was operated under the Delta Connection Agreements, approximately 0.9% was operated under the Alaska Capacity Purchase Agreement, approximately 0.1% was operated under the US Airways Express Agreement and approximately 0.2% was operated under a code-share agreement with AirTran Airways, Inc.

On November 17, 2011, SkyWest Airlines and US Airways entered into the SkyWest Airlines US Airways Express Agreement. As of December 31, 2011, SkyWest Airlines ope rated two CRJ200s under the SkyWest Airlines US Airways Express Agreement, flying a total of approximately ten US Airways Express flights per day between Phoenix and designated outlying destinations. On April 13, 2011, SkyWest Airlines and Alaska entered into the SkyWest Airlines Alaska Capacity Purchase Agreement. As of December 31, 2011, SkyWest Airlines operated five CRJ700s under the SkyWest Airlines Alaska Capacity Purchase Agreement, flying a total of approximately 30 Alaska flights per day between Seattle, Portland and designated outlying destinations.

As of December 31, 2011, SkyWest Airlines and ExpressJet scheduled the daily flights as Delta Connection carriers: 530 flights to or from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, 316 flights to or from Salt Lake City International Airport, 132 flights to or from Minneapolis International Airport, 94 flights to or from Memphis International Airport, 94 flights to or from Detroit International Airpor t and 8 flights to or from Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Inte! rnational! Airport.. As of December 31, 2011, SkyWest Airlines scheduled 15 daily flights as an Alaska carrier to or from Portland International Airport and 15 daily flights as an Alaska carrier to or from Seattle International Airport. As of December 31, 2011, SkyWest Airlines scheduled ten daily flights as an US Airways Express carrier to or from Phoenix International Airport.

As of December 31, 2011, SkyWest Airlines and ExpressJet scheduled the daily flights as a United or Continental Express carrier: 572 flights to or from Houston International Airport, 486 flights to or from Chicago O’Hare International Airport, 412 flights to or from Denver International Airport, 306 flights to or from San Francisco International Airport, 284 flights to or from Los Angeles International Airport, 214 flights to or from Newark International Airport, 148 flights to or from Washington Dulles International Airport, 128 flights to or from Cleveland International Airport and 64 flights to or from other airports. As of December 31, 2011, it operated 17 CRJ200s for United under a pro-rate agreement. The Company also operated one CRJ200 under a pro-rate agreement with Delta, as of December 31, 2011.

SkyWest Airlines

SkyWest Airlines provides regional jet and turboprop service primarily located in the midwestern and western United States. SkyWest Airlines offered approximately 1,650 daily scheduled departures as of December 31, 2011, of which approximately 1,110 were United Express flights, 500 were Delta Connection flights, 30 were Alaksa-coded flights and 10 were US Airways Express flights. SkyWest Airlines’ operations are conducted from hubs located in Chicago (O’Hare), Denver, Los Angeles, Houston, Portland, Seattle, Phoenix, San Francisco and Salt Lake City. SkyWest Airlines’ fleet as of December 31, 2011 consisted of 21 CRJ900s, all of which were flown for Delta; 96 CRJ700s, of which 70 were flown for United, 21 were flown for Del ta and five were flown for Alaska; 153 CRJ200s, of which 82 ! were flown! for United, 61 were flown for Delta, eight were in preparation for service under a code-share agreement with US Airways and two were flown for US Airways; and 45 Brasilia turboprops, of which 35 were flown for United and 10 were flown for Delta.

As of December 31, 2011, SkyWest Airlines was conducting its Delta Connection operations pursuant to the terms of an Amended and Restated Delta Connection Agreement, which obligates Delta to compensate SkyWest Airlines for its direct costs associated with operating Delta Connection flights, plus a payment based on block hours flown (the SkyWest Airlines Delta Connection Agreement). SkyWest Airlines’ United code-share operations are conducted under a United Express Agreement, pursuant to which SkyWest Airlines is paid primarily on a fee-per-completed block hour and departure basis, plus a margin based on performance incentives (the SkyWest Airlines United Express Agreement). During December 31, 2011, SkyWest Airlines ent ered into code-share agreements with Alaska and US Airways, pursuant to which SkyWest Airlines is paid primarily on a fee-per-completed block hour and departure basis, plus a fixed margin per aircraft each month.

ExpressJet

ExpressJet provides regional jet service principally in the United States, primarily from hubs located in Atlanta, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago (O’Hare), Denver, Houston, Newark and Washington Dulles. ExpressJet offered more than 2,100 daily scheduled departures as of December 31, 2011, of which approximately 650 were Delta Connection flights and 1,450 were Continental Express or United Express flights. As of December 31, 2011, the combined fleet of ExpressJet consisted of 10 CRJ900s, which were flown for Delta, 46 CRJ700s,which were flown for Delta, 113 CRJ200s, 99 of, which were flown for Delta and 14 of, which were flown for United and 242 ERJ145s, which were flown for United or Continental.

Under the terms of a Second Amended and Restated Delta Connection Agreement exec! uted betw! een Delta and Atlantic Southeast and to, which ExpressJet is a party (the ExpressJet Delta Connection Agreement), Delta has agreed to compensate ExpressJet for its direct costs associated with operating Delta Connection flights, plus, if ExpressJet completes a certain minimum percentage of its Delta Connection flights, a specified margin on such costs. Under the ExpressJet Delta Connection Agreement, excess margins over certain percentages must be returned to or shared with Delta, depending on various conditions. ExpressJet’s Continental and United code-share operations are conducted under a Capacity Purchase Agreement between ExpressJet and Continental (the Continental CPA) and two United Express Agreements between ExpressJet and United (collectively, the ExpressJet United Express Agreements), pursuant to, which ExpressJet is paid by Continental or United, as applicable, primarily on a fee-per-completed block hour and departure basis, plus a margin based on performance ince ntives.

The Company competes with Air Wisconsin Airlines Corporation, American Airlines, Inc. Delta Air Lines, Inc. Compass Airlines, Alaska Air Group, Inc. Mesa Air Group, Inc., Pinnacle Airlines Corp., Republic Airways Holdings Inc. and Trans State Airlines, Inc.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Adam Levine-Weinberg]

    Like other regional airlines, Republic Airways Holdings (NASDAQ: RJET  ) has been hard hit by the growing U.S. pilot shortage. However, while rivals such as SkyWest (NASDAQ: SKYW  ) are struggling to stay in the black in this challenging environment, Republic’s focus on more-profitable large regional jets is allowing it to boost earnings.

  • [By Michele Lerner, The Motley Fool]

    Alan Diaz/APAmerican Airlines did better at staying on schedule last year than it did in 2012, when it accused pilots of a work slowdown. DALLAS — A big drop in customer complaints helped U.S. airlines post their best ratings ever even though more flights were late and more bags were mishandled, according to a report released Monday by university researchers. Virgin America topped the ratings, and three regional airlines scored at the bottom. Among the four biggest airlines, Delta Air Lines (DAL) ranked best followed by Southwest (LUV), American (AAL) and United (UAL), according to researchers from Wichita State University and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. The researchers have graded airlines since 1991 on government figures for on-time performance, mishandled bags, bumping passengers, and complaints filed with the U.S. Department of Transportation. Their key findings: On-Time Performance: Airlines operated 78.4 percent of their flights on time in 2013, down from 81.8 percent in 2012. Best: Hawaiian Airlines (HA); worst: American Eagle. Only two airlines improved: American Airlines and United. Bag Handling: The rate of lost, stolen or delayed bags rose 5 percent. Best: Virgin America; worst: American Eagle. Bumping: The rate of bumping passengers from flights fell 8 percent. Best: JetBlue Airways (JBLU); worst: SkyWest (SKYW). Complaints: Consumer complaints to the government dropped 15 percent in 2013 after rising 20 percent the year before. Best: Southwest Airlines; worst: Frontier (RJET). One of the report’s authors, Wichita State business professor Dean Headley, credited the drop in complaints partly to United Airlines. The company suffered several computer-network outages and grounded hundreds of flights in 2012 when it combined the United and Continental computer networks after a merger, but “got their act together” in 2013, he said. Headley said the drop in complaints might also reflect “a certain amount of resignation” that “it’s neve

Top 10 Airline Companies To Watch For 2015: Qantas Airways Ltd (QUBSF)

Qantas Airways Limited is engaged in the operation of international and domestic air transportation services, the provision of freight services and the operation of a Frequent Flyer loyalty program. The Company’s main business is the transportation of customers using two complementary airline brands: Qantas and Jetstar. It also operates subsidiary businesses, including other airlines, and businesses in specialist markets, such as Q Catering. The Company operates in four segments: Qantas Domestic, Qantas International, Qantas Loyalty and Qantas Freight. Qantas Domestic includes Australian domestic passenger flying business of Qantas Brands. Qantas International includes the International passenger flying business of Qantas Brands. Qantas Loyalty Operates the Qantas customer loyalty program. In April 2014, Qantas Airways Ltd announced that Westpac Banking Corporation and its associated companies ceased to be a substantial share holder of the Company. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By WWW.MARKETWATCH.COM]

    LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Australia shares nudged lower early Friday, with the S&P/ASX 200 (AU:XJO) down 0.2% to erase the previous session’s 0.2% gain, dragged by losses for European and U.S. equities on the back of a Portuguese financial crisis. Financials fell (Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (AU:ANZ) (ANEWF) and National Australia Bank Ltd. (AU:NAB) (NAUBF) each down 0.3%, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (AU:CBA) (CBAUF) down 0.4%, and Macquarie Group Ltd. (AU:MQG) (MCQEF) down 0.7%), and the top miners fared especially poorly (Rio Tinto Ltd. (AU:RIO) (RIO) down 1.2%, Oz Minerals Ltd. (AU:OZL) (OZMLF) down 1.1%, though BHP Billiton Ltd. (AU:BHP) (BHP) off just 0.1%). And while Atlas Iron Ltd. (AU:AGO) beat its production guidance, and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (AU:FMG) (FSUMF) missed its production guidance, both saw losses, with Atlas stock off 2.9% and Fortescue trading 1.6% lower. Among the gainers, Scentre Group

  • [By MARKETWATCH]

    LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Australian stocks edged lower Thursday, as a mostly soft lead from the U.S. markets helped weigh on the S&P/ASX 200 (AU:XJO) , which lost 0.2% to 5,306.40. Mining stocks moved mostly lower as a rising dollar depressed some key commodity prices overnight, with Oz Minerals Ltd. (AU:OZL) (OZMLF) down 1%, Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (AU:FMG) (FSUMF) off 1.5%, and Newcrest Mining Ltd. (AU:NCM) (NCMGF) 1.1% lower. The big four banks all started lower as well, with Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (AU:ANZ) (ANEWF) and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (AU:CBA) (CBAUF) down 0.2% each, while National Australia Bank Ltd. (AU:NAB) (NAUBF) lost 0.4%, and Westpac Banking Corp. (AU:WBC) (WEBNF) fell 0.5%. Retailers were mixed ahead of retail-sales data due out later in the day, as Harvey Norman Holdings Ltd. (AU:HVN) (HNORY) fell 0.5% and Myer Holdings Ltd. (AU:MYR) lost 0.7%, while David Jones Ltd.

  • [By MARKETWATCH]

    LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Australian stocks lost hold of early gains Monday. Retailer shares traded mostly weaker, but an advance for miners limited the losses after many base-metals futures rose on the back of better-than-expected U.S. jobs data. The S&P/ASX 200 (AU:XJO) slipped 0.1% to 5,182.40 after opening higher. In early moves, Myer Holdings Ltd. (AU:MYR) fell 0.7%, David Jones Ltd. (AU:DJS) (DVDJF) lost 1.1%, and Harvey Norman Holdings Ltd. (AU:HVN) (HNORY) traded 1% lower. In the mining space, BHP Billiton Ltd. (AU:BHP) (BHP) added 0.5%, Rio Tinto Ltd. (AU:RIO) (RIO) rose 0.7%, Alumina Ltd. (AU:AWC) (AWCMF) improved by 1%, and Oz Minerals Ltd. (AU:OZL) (OZMLF) jumped 2.2%. Shares of Qantas Airways Ltd. (AU:QAN) (QUBSF) rose briefly but then moved the flat line, holding firm after sharp losses last week. Chris Bowen, who serves as the Labor Party’s shadow treasurer, said the struggling airline was “effectively” too big to fail. Meanwhile, shares of QBE Insurance Group Ltd. (AU:QBE)

Top 10 Airline Companies To Watch For 2015: US Airways Group Inc (LCC)

US Airways Group, Inc. (US Airways Group) is a holding company whose primary business activity is the operation of a network air carrier through its wholly owned subsidiaries, US Airways, Piedmont Airlines, Inc. (Piedmont), PSA Airlines, Inc. (PSA), Material Services Company, Inc. (MSC) and Airways Assurance Limited (AAL). MSC and AAL operate in support of the Company’s airline subsidiaries in areas, such as the procurement of aviation fuel and insurance. It has hubs in Charlotte, Philadelphia and Phoenix and a focus city in Washington, D.C. at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (Washington National). During the year ended December 31, 2011, it offered scheduled passenger service on more than 3,100 flights daily to more than 200 communities in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, the Middle East, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. It also has an East Coast route network, including the US Airways Shuttle service.

The Company had approximatel y 53 million passengers boarding its mainline flights in 2011. During 2011, the Company’s mainline operation provided scheduled service or seasonal service at 133 airports, while the US Airways Express network served 156 airports in the United States, Canada and Mexico, including 78 airports also served by its mainline operation. US Airways Express air carriers had approximately 28 million passengers boarding their planes in 2011. As of December 31, 2011, the Company operated 340 mainline jets and was supported by its regional airline subsidiaries and affiliates operating as US Airways Express under capacity purchase agreements, which operated 233 regional jets and 50 turboprops. The Company’s prorate carriers operated seven turboprops and seven regional jets at December 31, 2011.

In May 2011, US Airways Group and US Airways entered into an Amended and Restated Mutual Asset Purchase and Sale Agreement (the Mutual APA) with Delta Air Lines, Inc. (Delta). Pur suant to the Mutual APA, Delta agreed to acquire 132 slot pa! irs at LaGuardia from US Airways and US Airways agreed to acquire from Delta 42 slot pairs at Washington National and the rights to operate additional daily service to Sao Paulo, Brazil. On December 13, 2011, the transaction contemplated by the Mutual APA closed and ownership of the respective slots was transferred between the airlines. During 2011, the US Airways Express network served 156 airports in the continental United States, Canada and Mexico, including 78 airports also served by its mainline operation. During 2011, approximately 28 million passengers boarded US Airways Express air carriers’ planes, approximately 44% of whom connected to or from its mainline flights.

The Company competes with Southwest, JetBlue, Allegiant, Frontier, Virgin America and Spirit.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By WALLSTCHEATSHEET]

    US Airways is an airline that operates passenger and freight planes. The company and AMR Corp.’s American Airlines began trading as a merged entity when markets opened on Monday. The stock has exploded higher in 2013 and is currently trading near highs for the year. Over the last four quarters, earnings have been decreasing while revenues have been rising, which has left investors pleased. Relative to its peers and sector, US Airways has been an average year-to-date performer. Look for US Airways to OUTPERFORM.

  • [By WALLSTCHEATSHEET]

    US Airways is an airline that operates passenger and freight planes. Friday is the last day that shares of AMR Corp. and US Airways will trade separately before the newly merged airline, American Airlines Group, will begin trading on the Nasdaq under the ticker AAL on Monday. The stock has exploded higher in 2013, but is currently pulling back. Over the last four quarters, earnings have been decreasing while revenues have been rising, which has produced optimistic investors. Relative to its peers and sector, US Airways has been an average year-to-date performer. Look for US Airways to OUTPERFORM.

Top 10 Airline Companies To Watch For 2015: Allegiant Travel Co (ALGT)

Allegiant Travel Company, incorporated on April 4, 2006, is a leisure travel company focused on providing travel services and products to residents of small, underserved cities in the United States. The Company operates a passenger airline marketed primarily to leisure travelers in small cities, allowing it to sell air transportation both on a stand-alone basis and bundled with the sale of air-related and third party services and products. In addition, it provides air transportation under fixed fee flying arrangements. The Company provides scheduled air transportation on limited frequency nonstop flights between small city markets and leisure destinations. As of February 1, 2013, its operating fleet consisted of 58 MD-80 aircraft and six Boeing 757-200 aircraft providing service on 191 routes to 85 cities including 13 leisure destinations and 72 small cities and including cities served seasonally. In January 2012, the Company took ownership of two MD-80 aircraft. In Octobe r 2012, the Company announced the formation of Allegiant Systems, a joint venture with AvIntel and Lixar IT.

The Company provides unbundled air-related services and products in conjunction with air transportation for an additional cost to customers. These optional air-related services and products include use of its Website for purchases, use of its call center for purchases, advance seat assignment, baggage fees, priority boarding, its own travel protection product, change fees, food and beverage purchases on board and other air-related services. The Company offers third party travel products, such as hotel rooms, ground transportation (rental cars and hotel shuttle products) and attractions (show tickets) bundled with the purchase of its air transportation.

The Company provides air transportation through fixed fee agreements and charter service on a seasonal and ad-hoc basis for other customers. As of February 1, 2013, its operating aircraft consi sted of 58 MD-80 aircraft and six Boeing 757-200 aircraft. D! uring the year ended December 31, 2012, the Company has entered into purchase agreements to acquire seven Airbus A320 aircraft and operating lease agreements for an additional nine Airbus A319 aircraft.

The Company competes with AirTran, Frontier, Spirit, Southwest, US Airways, Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air, Delta, Xtra, United and American.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Of the 8 publicly-traded US airlines that generated a positive [Return on Invested Capital – Weighted Average Cost of Capital] gap, Allegiant Travel (ALGT) generated both the highest absolute after tax ROIC (16.5%) and the greatest “spread” (ROIC – WACC of 10.3 points). Furthermore, Allegiant’s very strong results were an improvement over what it reported in 2012: 15.4% after tax ROIC and ROIC – WACC spread of 9.0 points.

  • [By Paul R. La Monica]

    Still, Crissey warns that not all airlines are going to keep flying high. He recently upgraded United, and said two other favorites are Southwest and Las Vegas-based regional carrier Allegiant (ALGT).

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    We believe a continuation of healthy earnings and cash flow should create greater opportunities to further shareholder-friendly agendas, as we expect a number of US carriers to either augment or introduce shareholder capital return programs (through dividends and/or share repurchases) within the next several quarters (namely [American Airlines, Alegiant Travel (ALGT), Alaska Air, Delta Air Lines, and Southwest Airlines)…we think the stocks will continue to perform well throughout the remainder of year.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    DeNardi also rates Alaska Air (ALK), Spirit Airlines (SAVE) and Allegiant Travel (ALGT) as Buys and Southwest, JetBlue Airways (JBLU) and Hawaiian Holdings (HA) as holds.

Top 10 Airline Companies To Watch For 2015: Latam Airlines Group SA (LFL)

LAN Airlines S.A. (LAN), incorporated in 1983, is the international and domestic passenger airline in Latin America and the cargo operator in the region. As of February 9, 2012, LAN and its affiliates provided domestic and international passenger services in Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Argentina and Colombia and cargo operations through the use of belly space on its passenger flights and cargo freighter aircraft through its cargo airlines in Chile, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. LAN and its affiliates offered passenger flights to 15 destinations in Chile, 59 destinations in other South American countries, 15 destinations in other Latin American countries and the Caribbean, five destinations in the United States, two destinations in Europe and four destinations in the South Pacific and, through various codeshare agreements, service to 25 additional destinations in North America, 16 additional destinations in Europe, 27 additional destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean (inc luding Mexico), and two destinations in Asia, as of February 9, 2012. LAN and its affiliates provide cargo service to all of their passenger destinations and to 20 additional destinations served only by freighter aircraft. LAN also offers other services, such as ground handling, courier, logistics and maintenance. LAN and its affiliates operated a fleet, with 135 passenger aircraft and 14 cargo aircraft as of December 31, 2011. On February 15, 2011, Lan Pax Group S.A., subsidiary of Lan Airlines S.A. acquired 100% of Colombian society AEROASIS S.A.

LAN is primarily involved in the transportation of passengers and cargo. Its operations are carried out principally by Lan Airlines and also by a number of different subsidiaries. As of February 28, 2011, in the passenger business the Company operated through six main airlines: Lan Airlines, Transporte Aereo S.A. (which does business under the name Lan Express), Lan Peru S.A. (Lan Peru), Aerolane Lineas Aereas Naciona les del Ecuador S.A. (Lan Ecuador), Lan Argentina S.A. (Lan ! Argentina, previously Aero 2000 S.A.) and the Aerovias de Integracion Regional, Aires S.A. (Aires). As of February 28, 2011, the Company held a 99.9% interest in Lan Express through direct and indirect interests, a 70.0% interest in Lan Peru through direct and indirect interests, a 71.9% indirect interest in Lan Ecuador, a 99.0% indirect interest in Lan Argentina and a 94.99% indirect interest in Aires (a Colombian entity which was acquired on November 26, 2010). Its cargo operations are carried out by a number of companies, including Lan Airlines and Lan Cargo. As of February 28, 2011, the Company held a 69.2% interest in Aero Transportes Mas de Carga S.A. de C.V. (MasAir), through direct and indirect participations, a 73.3% interest in ABSA through direct and indirect participations, and a 90.0% interest in LANCO through direct and indirect participations. In the cargo business, the Company markets itself primarily under the Lan Cargo brand. In addition to its air transpor tation activities, the Company provides a series of ancillary services. It offers handling services, courier services and logistics, small package and express door-to-door services through Lan Airlines and various subsidiaries.

Passenger Operations

As of February 28, 2011, the Company operated passenger airlines in Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Argentina and Colombia. As of February 28, 2011, our passenger operations were performed through airlines in Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Argentina and Colombia where we operate both domestic and international services. As of February 28, 2011, the Company’s network consisted of 15 destinations in Chile, 14 destinations in Peru, four destinations in Ecuador, 14 destinations in Argentina, 24 destinations in Colombia, 14 destinations in other Latin American countries and the Caribbean, five destinations in the United States, one destination in Canada, three destinations in Europe and four destinations in the South Pacific. Within Latin America, it has routes to and from Argentina, B! olivia, B! razil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. The Company also flies to a variety of international destinations outside Latin America, including Auckland, Fort Lauderdale, Frankfurt, Los Angeles, Madrid, Miami, Mount Pleasant (Falkland Islands), New York, Toronto, Papeete (Tahiti), Paris, San Francisco, and Sydney. In addition, as of February 28, 2011, through its various code-share agreements, the Company offered service to 25 additional destinations in North America, 16 additional destinations in Europe, 25 additional destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean (including Mexico), and two destinations in Asia. As of February 28, 2011, the Company operated scheduled international services from Chile, Peru, Ecuador and Argentina through Lan Airlines; Lan Express in Chile; Lan Peru in Peru; Lan Ecuador in Ecuador; Lan Argentina in Argentina and Aires in Colombia. Its international network combines the Company’s Chile an, Peruvian, Ecuadorian, Argentinean and Colombian affiliates. It provides long-haul services out of its four main hubs in Santiago, Lima, Guayaquil and Buenos Aires. It also provides regional services from Chile, Peru, Ecuador and Argentina.

Cargo Operations

The Company’s cargo business operates on the same network used by the passenger airlines business, which is supplemented by freighter-only operations. The Company carries cargo for a variety of customers, including other international air carriers, freight-forwarding companies, export oriented companies and individual consumers. As of February 28, 2011, the Company operated a fleet of 140 aircraft, comprised of 126 passenger aircraft and 14 cargo aircraft.

The Company competes with UPS, FedEx, Centurion, Transportes Aereos Mercantiles Panamericanos S.A., Polar Air, Cargolux, Lufthansa Cargo, Martinair and Air France-KLM.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    LATAM Airlines Group SA (NYSE: LFL) is expected to post its Q1 earnings at $0.20 per share on revenue of $3.42 billion.

    Gladstone Investment (NASDAQ: GAIN) is projected to post its Q4 earnings at $0.17 per share on revenue of $8.90 million.

  • [By Laura Brodbeck]

    Notable earnings releases expected on Monday include:

    LAN Chile S.A. (NYSE: LFL) is expected to report fourth quarter EPS of $0.24 on revenue of $3.50 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.02 on revenue of $3.48 billion. JA Solar Holdings, Co. Ltd (NASDAQ: JASO) is expected to report EPS of $0.03 on revenue of $291.75 million, compared to last year’s loss of $2.65 per share on revenue of $268.09 million. Sterling Construction Company, Inc (NASDAQ: STRL) is expected to report a fourth quarter loss of $1.47 per share on revenue of $153.07 million, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.18 on revenue of $158.09 million.

    Economics

Top 10 Airline Companies To Watch For 2015: Singapore Airlines Ltd (SINGY)

Singapore Airlines Limited is a passenger air transportation company. The Company, together with its subsidiaries, is engaged in passenger and cargo air transportation, engineering services, training of pilots, air charters and tour wholesaling and related activities. The Company consists of 101 aircrafts. The Company operates in four segments: airline operations, cargo operations, engineering services and others. The Company’s subsidiaries are SIA Engineering Company Limited (SIAEC), SIA Cargo and SilkAir (Singapore) Private Limited (SilkAir). Effective December 24, 2013, Singapore Airlines Ltd, a unit of Temasek Holdings (Pte) Ltd, raised its interest to 40.004% from 32.67% by acquiring a 7.334% interest in Tiger Airways Holdings Ltd from Dahlia Investments Ptye Ltd and Aranda Investments Pte Ltd. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Bruce Kennedy]

    Business travel columnist Joe Brancatelli reports the world’s longest non-stop commercial route, the Singapore Airlines (OTC: SINGY) 18-hour, business class-only flight between Newark, N.J. and Singapore, will end on Saturday. The airline also retired the world’s second-longest non-stop flight, Los Angeles-to-Singapore, last month.

Top 10 Airline Companies To Watch For 2015: Ryanair Holdings PLC (RYA)

Ryanair Holdings plc (Ryanair Holdings), is a holding company for Ryanair Limited (Ryanair). Ryanair operates a low-cost, scheduled-passenger airline serving short-haul, point-to-point routes between Ireland, the United Kingdom, Continental Europe, and Morocco. As of June 30, 2012, the Company offered approximately over 1,500 scheduled short-haul flights per day serving approximately 160 airports largely throughout Europe with an operating fleet of 294 aircraft flying approximately 1,500 routes. Ryanair sells seats on a one-way basis. The Company also holds a 29.8% interest in Aer Lingus Group plc. As of June 30, 2012, Ryanair’s operating fleet was composed of 294 Boeing 737-800 aircraft, each having 189 seats. Ryanair’s fleet totaled 294 Boeing 737-800s at March 31, 2012. As of June 30, 2012, Ryanair owned and operated four Boeing 737-800 full flight simulators for pilot training. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Inyoung Hwang]

    Ryanair Holdings Plc (RYA), the discount airline operator that’s the second-biggest stock in Ireland’s ISEQ index, declined 1.7 percent to 7.23 euros in Dublin. Kerry Group, a supplier of food ingredients, sank 1.4 percent to 45.24 euros.