JetBlue Airways Corporation (JBLU), Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (HA), Delta Air Lines, Inc. (DAL): Fly High With These UnderValued Airline Stocks

Strangely, since Warren Buffett wrote off airline stocks from his portfolio in 2008, the airline industry has delivered three straight years of profitability. The industry outlook for 2013 also looks quite positive. Many investors have ignored this fact, but the sector has been a stock market leader over the last few years. The trend is expected to continue and the best part is, you can find some undervalued stocks and earn decent returns. Let me help you out by listing these stocks and how you can gain big by investing in them.

JetBlue Airways CorporationUS airline industry outlook

It is true that the U.S. airline industry has become very competitive since its deregulation in 1978. The industry has been operating on a razor-thin margin. It has a total market capitalization of $37 billion and has an operating margin of 3.4%. The decline in traffic growth is hurting the sector, however the airlines took note of it and introduced fees for checked luggage, which helped minimize losses.

Several factors, like intense competition, low switching costs, and high supplier power are the reasons why investors shy away from this sector. But, if you are a

value investor, you would prefer not to avoid this, and instead cash in big by investing now. Let me give you a list of three stocks that I consider to be undervalued, based on their earnings potential.

JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ:JBLU) is one such undervalued stock in the airline sector right now. It operates around 180 aircraft, flying across the U.S., the Caribbean, and Latin America, and is known for its award-winning service and in-flight entertainment.

The company witnessed an increase in sales by an average rate of 12% over the past five years. If I look at last year’s EPS growth, it is tremendous at 31%. Analysts are expecting the trend to continue for at least the next two years.

The shares of JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ:JBLU) have given a 55% return in the past year, compared to S&P’s 14%. In the latest March report, passenger traffic increased by 8.6% from the same period last year. The fact that the stock is undervalued can be seen from the PEG ratio, which compares the P/E ratio to the EPS growth rate. Any PEG ratio less than 1 is desirable, and is considered a cheap buy. The ratio for JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ:JBLU) is less than 0.4, which signifies there is significant value in the stock and it can double in the next few months.

Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:HA) is Hawaii’s biggest and longest-serving airline, and is known for its on-time performance. The airline operates 43 flights daily between the Unites States and Asia. Revenue growth of the company beat even JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ:JBLU) by two percentage points, standing at 14%. EPS growth over the past year grew 28% and is set to grow further. PEG ratio of Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:HA) is just 0.2, which is one-sixth of the airline industry’s average of 1.26.

The stock is comparatively risky compared to JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ:JBLU), as growth opportunities are limited due to its lower number of flights and operation in a particular demographic region. However, initiatives have been taken by the company, as it recently announced new flight launches between Honolulu and Beijing/Taipei. Altogether, the stock is a great buying opportunity. It is now trading cheap at $5 and the forward P/E ratio is four, indicating an increment in value in the coming months.

Founded in 1924, Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL) has a fleet of 700 aircraft and operates in the U.S. and international locations. The on-arrival time rate of Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL) is 85% and it has been recently named as the most admired airline for 2013.

Similar to JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ:JBLU) and Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:HA), the EPS forecast is high for Delta. It has given more than 50% return to investors since December 2012. The stock is currently trading at $15 and has the potential to go up further. This can be seen from the PEG ratio of 0.22, which is much lower than the industry average. Forward P/E till December 2014 is at $5, which indicates the degree to which the stock is undervalued.

Another positive point for the airline is the low debt and relatively high cash it is holding. Airlines, being capital intensive, usually carry high debt due to high equipment and maintenance cost. Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL) can be considered safe in this regard.

Conclusion

The three airlines discussed above have reported increases in passenger traffic in their March 2013 reports. Besides, they have continued their impeccable services such as on-time delivery and in-flight passenger entertainment. Watch out for these stocks, some of them have their next earnings reports scheduled at the end of this month. If they report an impressive quarter, prices will definitely shoot up.

The article Fly High With These UnderValued Airline Stocks originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Shas Dey.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Insider Monkey Headlines
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy

Insider Monkey beat the market by 52 percentage points in 24 months Click to see monthly returns in table format!

Lists

7 Most Expensive Cities in the World

5 Least Expensive Cities in the World

10 Celebrities Who Believe In Scientology

10 High Margin Food Products to Build a Business Around

The 10 Most Expensive Clothing Stores in the United States to Get Decked Out At

The 5 Biggest Kickstarter Scams That Swindled Backers’ Donations

The 10 Most Expensive Boarding Schools In the World

50 Crazy Facts About Japan You Won’t Believe

Top 10 Least Expensive Hybrid Cars to Save the Planet With

The 10 Biggest ‘Gate’ Controversies in History

The 10 States with the Highest Nursing Shortages Leaving Their Hospitals Depleted

The 10 Best Value Investment Blogs that Every Investor Must Read

The 6 Cheapest Boarding Schools in Europe 2015

The 5 Most Expensive Cars To Insure in the World

The 10 Most Common Genetically Modified Foods

10 Self-Made Billionaires Who Came From Nothing

The 10 Most Expensive Cities to Live in North America

The 13 Most Expensive Headphones in the World to Represent

The Top 20 Wealthiest Soccer Teams in 2014

4 BuzzWorthy Cannabis Stocks And Some Smoking Derivative Plays

The 10 Healthiest Fast Food Chains in America to Dine At

The 5 Most Expensive Cat Food Brands You Can Spoil Your Kitty With

The 6 Best eCommerce Platforms for Small Businesses

The 10 Worst Mistakes an Entrepreneur Can Make

The 5 Most OP Characters in League of Legends to Carry Games and Crush Foes With

The 5 Best Foods to Eat Before Running that Will Help You Pound the Pavement

10 Glaring Plot Holes in The Walking Dead that a Zombie-Filled Bus Could Drive Through

The 5 Biggest Celebrity Stoners Who Love Their Reefer

The 10 Most Overrated Movies Of All Time by Out-of-Touch Critics

Top 6 Least Expensive Cruise Destinations For 2015 that Will Take You to Paradise

10 States with Lowest Substance Abuse Rates in America

The 14 Most Watched TV Finales Ever

The 10 Best Selling Role Playing Games of All Time for PC

10 Most Influential Papers In Economics

Top 8 Biggest Charities in the US

10 Worst Celebrity Career Moves Ever

Top 10 Best Paid Tennis Stars in the World

Top 6 Cities For The Ultra Rich to Live in Comfort

10 Cities with High Demand for Nurses

6 of the Worst Greeting Card Messages Ever Crafted

How to Make Money in ArcheAge and Build Your Empire

10 Foods To Eat To Lower Cholesterol Levels

The 10 Most Hated Television Characters of All Time

The 30 Worst Halloween Costume Ideas Ever Brought to Horrible Life

10 Vocational Skills in Demand Today with Jobs Waiting to be Filled

10 Best Places to Visit in Central and South America

The 10 Greatest Empires in History Which Nearly Conquered the World

The 6 Cheapest Boarding Schools In America 2015

5 Clear Reasons LoL is Better than DotA, Continues to Rule MOBAs

The Only 9 Teams with a Chance to Win the Super Bowl

Subscribe

Enter your email:

Delivered by FeedBurner

X

Thanks! An email with instructions is sent to !

Your email already exists in our database. Click here to go to your subscriptions

Insider Monkey returned 47.6% in its first year! Wondering How?

Download a complete edition of our newsletter for free!