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The 15 Most-Watched Airline Stocks

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People watch stocks for different reasons -- they're waiting for a dip in price, watching for a specific catalyst, gathering all the news and information that might affect stocks they already own, or considering a sell. Regardless of their motivation, we can better understand market sentiment by seeing who's watching what. With the Fool's free My Watchlist service, we have tens of thousands of people telling us the businesses that have, for whatever reason, piqued their interest.

With this data we have come up with a new metric, watch interest, to inform investors what stocks their peers keep tabs on in each industry. In the case of the airline industry, watch interest is the percentage of people keeping an eye on airline stocks in general who are specifically watching each company. By looking at what stocks in an industry people are most interested in, you can get ahead of the curve by finding hot stocks that you might have otherwise overlooked.  That’s easy to do in the airline industry, as there are 29 publicly traded airline stocks. The industry has been hurting from increased gas prices so much so that Airbus is now looking into fuel-cell technology for in-flight electricity and ASTM International, the international body that decides on aviation standards, recently approved airlines' use of biofuels.

The most-watched Airline stock is ...
Looking at the aggregate data, we see that Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV  ) is above the rest in terms of watch interest. And for good reason. As CAPS player mwlove wrote in April:

The AirTran merger will add capacity, lower costs, and (perhaps most importantly) open the Atlanta market. The pilot on my recent flight told me that SWA will begin flying to Hawaii in 2012 or 2013. LUV is the only airline making money this year and they are doing it in a very challenging environment. If fuel prices drop, watch it take off.

Here are the top 15 most-watched companies in the industry with their watch interest, along with the stocks' CAPS ratings to show the sentiment of our investing community.



Market Cap (Millions)

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Watch Interest


Southwest Airlines










Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL  )





United Continental (NYSE: UAL  )





JetBlue Airways (NYSE: JBLU  )





International Consolidated Airlines Group (NYSE: IAG  )





US Airways Group (NYSE: LCC  )





GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes (NYSE: GOL  )





Republic Airways Holdings (Nasdaq: RJET  )





Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK  )





Allegiant Travel (NYSE: ALGT  )





LAN Airlines (NYSE: LFL  )





Hawaiian Holdings (NYSE: HA  )





SkyWest (Nasdaq: SKYW  )





Copa Holdings (NYSE: CPA  )




Sources: The Motley Fool, Motley Fool CAPS.

Whether you're keeping an eye on the industry stalwarts like Southwest Airlines or are watching an up-and-comer like Hawaiian Holdings, it pays to watch. We can help you keep tabs on your companies with My Watchlist, our free, personalized stock tracking service. Start now!

Follow Dan Dzombak on Twitter at @DanDzombak to check out his musings and see what articles he finds interesting.

The Motley Fool owns shares of Allegiant Travel. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Southwest Airlines. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read/Post Comments (1) | Recommend This Article (4)

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Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On July 15, 2011, at 4:13 PM, stantini wrote:

    Airlines have reduced capacity/costs, are passing on fuel increases by adding fuel surcharges to ticket prices, unbundled just about every service - to increase revenue. Flights are full to capacity every time I've flown in the past year. Demand seems to be there. Why are the sector's stock valuations remaining flat looking like they may start to drop??

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