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Following the announcement Monday by Alaska Air Group Inc. (NYSE:ALKC) that it had won a bidding war with JetBlue Airways Corp. (NASDAQ:JBLUA) and would acquire Virgin America, investor attention on airline stock has received an understandable boost.


This has happened, in part, due to comments by travel industry analysts like Henry Harteveldt who told Reuters, “It's inevitable that we would see some form of combination (among smaller airlines) as they strive to find a way to compete with the larger carriers.”

So, which airline companies do experts like best? Here are 6 that are frequently mentioned in financial media.

JetBlue Airways Corp. (NASDAQ:JBLUA)

TheStreet gives JetBlue an A- “Buy” rating based on “the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate.”

Zacks and TipRanks concur, offering “Buy” ratings of their own and Woo Trader a B based on its ranking at 520 (out of 4099 stocks). JetBlue was at 715 the day before.

Allegiant Travel Company (NASDAQ:ALGTC)

Woo Trader gives Allegiant a C with a “Perform” Weighted Rating. Zacks and TipRanks both rate the stock a “Buy.”

Jim Cramer’s TheStreet says “Buy” and gives the stock an A- grade saying the company’s strength can be seen in multiple areas including revenue growth, return on equity and expanding profit margins.

Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE:DALB)

Another A- from TheStreet for Delta including a “Buy” rating citing strengths including solid stock price performance and others which TheStreet says outweigh the company’s current low profit margins.

Delta is also highly rated by both InvestorPlace and Wyatt Research and had a grade of C from Woo Trader with “Strong Buy” ratings from Zacks and TipRanks.

Hawaiian Holdings (NASDAQ:HAC)

Receiving a grade of B+ and a “Buy” rating from TheStreet, Hawaiian Holdings is noted for expanding profit margins, good cash flow and solid stock price performance.

InvestorPlace named the company one of the top 5 airline stocks to own in 2016 and Woo Trader gives it a C. Zacks and TipRanks both rate this stock a “Hold.”

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUVC)

Another top 5 rating from InvestorPlace along with a “top 2” rank from Wyatt Research. Woo Trader gives the stock a C with a “Buy” rating from Zacks and “Strong Buy” from TipRanks.

Jim Cramer’s TheStreet gives the stock a B+ “Buy” rating touting “revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations.”

Alaska Air Group Inc. (NYSE:ALKC)

Although both Zacks and TipRanks say “Buy,” Woo Trader cautiously grades this stock D.

B+ and “Buy” says TheStreet. In addition, the company hits the top 5 airlines list with InvestorPlace. Whether the expansion possibilities for Alaska Air in California and beyond result in an upgrade by Woo Trader, remains to be seen.

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