US airline investors seemed indifferent to whether merger activity was under way or not in the first half of this year. After seemingly being spurned by United as a partner, US Airways stocks have gained 80.5% in the first six months of 2010. Yet at the same time, as United seeks authorisation to combine with Continental Airlines, both of those carriers’ shares have also performed strongly, with United up a stirring 60.6% and Continental up 21.3%.
But the regional jet sector’s woes were encapsulated in Expressjet’s sad performance, the company’s stocks losing 43.6% in the half. With a new CEO now in place, investors in the carrier will be looking for upside.
Meanwhile Air Canada, after a very difficult year in 2009, where it had to be rescued from bankruptcy by its government, has seen its B shares gain over a third since 1-Jan-2010, up 34.1%).
Latin American airlines mostly down
TAM (-39.1%), GOL (-21.2%) and COPA (-19.2%) led the charge down for Latin American stocks, after very strong showings in 2009. Only Lan Airlines, among the region’s carriers, had a positive showing, with its stock up 9.0% in the first half.
LCCs mostly steady
In a volatile marketplace, the main low cost airlines generally held their ground in the six months to 30-Jun-2010. Only GOL moved significantly, with Southwest Airlines (-0.6%) hovering around the baseline. JetBlue lost 1.3% of value and AirTran was down 6.4% and holiday operator Allegiant shed 11.1%.
North & South America selected airlines share price movements (% change): 01-Jan-2010 to 30-Jun-2010
Stocks were mixed yesterday, with Delta gaining close to 4% and AirTran losing 2.2%.
North & South America selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 30-Jun-2010