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Bear Stearns upgraded American Airlines parent AMR Corp. (AMR
) and the airline sector to market weight from underweight.
Analyst David Stine says it's unlikely that airlines will face simultaneous occurences of war, SARS, and high oil prices over the next 12 months, as they have recently endured. Also, if the economy picks up and business traffic improves, carriers could see unit revenue relief.
Stine thinks labor deals and ongoing movement on labor costs lowers the risk of bankruptcy, and serves as a catalyst for progress on other elements of operating expenses. He notes pricing still is abysmal, but he thinks investors could have the chance to participate in the beginnings of a turnaround.