Some analysts say JetBlue stock is the best bet among airlines, which have been battered by the recent coronavirus outbreak.
The virus had disrupted air travel, with more than two dozen airlines suspending or restricting flights to China and several countries, including the United States, banning the entry of anyone who has been in China over the previous two weeks, Reuters reported.
Bespoke Investment Group says savvy investors shouldn’t be afraid of airline stocks, especially JetBlue Airways, despite the virus plunging the airline industry into global chaos.
Airline stocks in the S&P 1500 have the lowest price/earnings ratio of any subsector on the market, Barron’s recently reported, citing a note by Bespoke. “The U.S. Global JETS exchange-traded fund (JETS) has a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.8, rendering it much cheaper than the Industrial Select Sector SDPR ETF (XLI), trading at 23 times earnings,” Barron’s said.
“The 737 MAX and more recent coronavirus headwinds have not gone away,” writes Bespoke. But “the airline industry is now looking relatively cheap to the rest of the market and JetBlue (JBLU) appears to be the best of breed of these stocks,” Bespoke said.
JetBlue also appears to be bucking negative technical trends for other airlines, which are in a short-term downtrend, says Bespoke. American Airlines (AAL), Allegiant Travel (ALGT), Alaska Air (ALK), Delta Air Lines (DAL), Hawaiian (HA), and Southwest Airlines (LUV) are all indicating weakness.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways asked its 27,000 employees to take three weeks of unpaid leave, saying conditions were as grave now as during the 2009 financial crisis.
American Airlines Group and United Airlines said they would suspend flights to and from Hong Kong after this week, a step that would leave no U.S. carriers flying passengers to the Asian financial hub.
About half of the air cargo carried globally is in the belly of passenger jets rather than dedicated freighters.
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