Monday, March 14, 2011

US Airways Group Inc (NYSE: LCC) Q2 2011 Price Target

Recent price: 9.18$
P/E Ratio: 3.69
3 Months Target Price: 11$

Company Description
As it can be seen from Reuters data, US Airways Group, Inc. (US Airways Group) is a holding company whose business activity is the operation of network air carrier through its wholly owned subsidiaries US Airways, Inc. (US Airways), Piedmont Airlines, Inc. (Piedmont), PSA Airlines, Inc. (PSA), Material Services Company, Inc. (MSC) and Airways Assurance Limited (AAL). MSC and AAL operate in support of its airline subsidiaries in areas, such as the procurement of aviation fuel and insurance. The Company has hubs in Charlotte, Philadelphia and Phoenix and a focus city in Washington at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (Washington National). During the year ended December 31, 2010, the Company offered scheduled passenger service on more than 3,200 flights daily to more than 200 communities in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, the Middle East, the Caribbean, Central and South America. The Company also has East Coast route network, including the US Airways Shuttle service. The Company has code share arrangements with air carriers to operate under the trade name US Airways Express.

During 2010, the Company had approximately 52 million passengers boarding its mainline flights. During 2010, its mainline operation provided scheduled service or seasonal service at 132 airports. As of December 31, 2010, it operated 339 mainline jets and was supported by its regional airline subsidiaries and affiliates operating as US Airways Express under capacity purchase agreements, which operated 231 regional jets and 50 turboprops. As of December 31, 2010, the Company’s prorate carriers operated 10 turboprops and three regional jets.

The Company’s US Airways Express partners carry passengers to its hubs from low-density markets to serve with large jets. In addition, US Airways Express operators offer operating flights during off-peak periods between mainline flights. During 2010, the US Airways Express network served 155 airports in the continental United States, Canada and Mexico, including 75 airports also served by its mainline operation. During 2010, approximately 28 million passengers boarded US Airways Express air carriers’ planes, approximately 44% of whom connected to or from its mainline flights. As of December 31, 2009, US Airways is a member of the Star Alliance, an airline alliance, which had 27 member airlines serving approximately 1,160 destinations in 181 countries.

Confidence Margins
Strong resistance $12.26 (+39%)
Light resistance $11.28 (+28%)
Light support $6.60 (-25%)
Strong support $5.70 (-36%)

Airlines are unfairly getting beat down by the markets. Recent raises in the oil prices are having an immediate effect on the stock price of US Airways Group while there is no sign of what the real impact will be. At current prices, it is a good entry point as the position will get back to previous levels as the volatility in the price of energy will fade.

Entry strategy
For the cautious investor:
Buy the stock for 9.50$ or less.

For the risk-taking trader:
The June 2011 9$ out-of-the-money call option contract seems to be the right position to take, they can be acquired for about 140$ per contract.

Exit Strategy
For the cautious investor:
Sell when the stock reaches 11$, or keep it until 12$ if you are more bullish in your own analysis. It is highly recommended to keep the position on check if it goes sour.

For the risk-taking trader:
The contracts should be kept until the underlying reaches around 11$. This should provide a satisfactory return if the underlying reaches the target price as the contracts will get in the money.

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