American Airlines ground staff looking to end negotiations; GOL and Copa up, TAM slips

North and South American carriers’ stocks were mixed on Wednesday (17-Feb-2010), with only a slight majority moving higher with the market, as oil prices (+0.4%) edged higher to USD77.33. The Dow (+0.4%) meanwhile rose following the release of stronger than expected financial results by farm equipment maker, Deere & Co, and improved economic data, including reports of a six month high in housing starts and an improvement in industrial production in Jan-2009. The AMEX Airline Index (+0.1%) ended up only slightly.

WestJet net profit down, but still profitable in 4Q2009

WestJet (+1.2%) shares were up after it reported its 19th consecutive quarter of profitability in the three months ended Dec-2009, but unveiled a 52% slump in net profit and a 7.4% reduction in revenues. See related article: WestJet reports 19th consecutive quarterly profit, but bottom line halved

American Airlines ground staff looking to end negotiations

American Airlines’ (-1.1%) shares dropped following news the Transport Workers Union, representing the carrier's ground workers, reportedly plans to ask the National Mediation Board to allow the workers to walk away from contract negotiations if no deal is made by 08-Mar-2010, following four years of negotiations.

GOL and Copa make marginal gains, TAM slips

GOL (+0.4%) and Copa (+0.2%) were up slightly, while TAM (-0.8%) slipped despite the Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA) reporting a 13.6% rise in passenger numbers for its member airlines in Dec-2009, to 11.7 million. For FY2009, passenger numbers were also up, rising 3.6% for the period, to 123.5 million. Load factor for Dec-2009 rose 3.3 ppts year-on-year, to 73.7%, and 3.6 ppts in 2009, to 70.5%.

North & South America selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 17-Feb-2010