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Alaska Air, US Airways fall, WestJet climbs despite challenging outlook

The Dow fell 0.27% yesterday (06-Aug-09), as investors became cautious the day before the release of Jul-2009 employment statistics in the US. As a result, only two US carriers saw shares rise on the day: Southwest (+1.3%) and Allegiant (+0.8%).

WestJet (+3.4%) was the greatest gainer of the day, despite reporting a 40.7% decline in net earnings to CAD9.2 million (USD8.5 million) in 2Q2009. CEO, Sean Dufry, attributed the fall to “the weakened economy and aggressive pricing”. The carrier's PRASM also dropped 15.4%, with a similar outlook expected for the third quarter. Air Canada's B shares were also up, after reporting improved load factor and plans to further cut costs the day before.

Southwest's (+1.3%) shares also increased, after reporting a 6.9 ppts year-on-year increase in load factor to 83.2% for Jul-2009. The carrier’s traffic (RPMs) was up 5.2%, on a 3.6% reduction in capacity, as passenger traffic fell 0.1% to 8 million passengers during the month.

Alaska Airlines (-7.5%) and US Airways (-6.1%) took the largest dives, despite both reporting improved load factors earlier in the week.

Delta Air Lines (-0.4%) and Hawaiian Airlines (-1.2%) also fell, despite reporting improved load factors yesterday. Delta's load factor rose 1.0 ppts in Jul-2009 to 87.7%, while Hawaiian reported a 6.5 ppts rise in load factor for the same period, to 85.2%

North & South America selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 06-Aug-09

Continental announces pricing for public offering

Continental Airlines (-2.4) announced the pricing of a public offering of 14.4 million shares of its Class B Common Stock, with the issuance and delivery of the shares to occur on 12-Aug-2009. Goldman Sachs is acting as sole underwriter for the offering.