As market conditions continue to improve, airline company Virgin American is seeking to launch an IPO for 2013. The exact timing of the IPO still remains unknown. Bloomberg reported CEO David Cush stating, "We're not tied to any date, and we've got investor patience and sufficient liquidity."

The timing will be highly dependent on investors' interests in Virgin's continual profit generation as well as its long-term business model. As its jet fuel bill surged 77% to $111 million, the carrier experienced a net loss of $30.8 million for the fourth quarter. Nonetheless, the company continued to add several planes and routes as revenues rose 45% to $276.8 million.

Altogether, the airline industry is still struggling to recover from the 2008 recession. According to Airlines.org, seven airlines in the U.S. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcies in 2008 alone. Three more airlines have filed for Chapter 11 since, including American Airlines' parent company, AMR, which filed in 2011.

Business section: Investing ideas
Although there has been minimal growth for airline companies, Virgin America remains optimistic for its public offering. How do you think Virgin will fare? (Click here to access free, interactive tools to analyze these ideas.)

1. China Eastern Airlines: Operates in civil aviation industry. The company has a market cap of $3.82 billion, most recent closing price at $17.40.

2. Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL): Provides scheduled air transportation for passengers and cargo in the United States and internationally. The company has a market cap of $9.22 billion, most recent closing price at $10.99.

3. US Airways Group (NYSE: LCC): Provides air transportation for passengers and cargo. The company has a market cap of $1.74 billion, most recent closing price at $10.70.

4. Spirit Airlines (Nasdaq: SAVE): Provides passenger airline service primarily to leisure travelers and travelers visiting friends and relatives. The company has a market cap of $1.66 billion, most recent closing price at $22.70.

5. TAM (NYSE: TAM): Provides passenger and cargo air transportation services in Brazil and internationally. The company has a market cap of $3.79 billion, most recent closing price at $24.32.

6. United Continental Holdings (NYSE: UAL): Engages in the provision of passenger and cargo air transportation services. The company has a market cap of $7.86 billion, most recent closing price at $22.12.

7. China Southern Airlines: Provides commercial airline services in the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and internationally. The company has a market cap of $4.46 billion, most recent closing price at $22.88.

Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the stocks mentioned above. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.


 

Kapitall's Kelly Haugen does not own any of the shares mentioned above. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.