Analysts seem to like everything about the carrier, even its plan to grow at a relatively rapid pace of 8% to 9% during the current year. "While most investors are justifiably wary of airlines growing, Alaska's 2010 performance puts it in rarefied air," raved Stifel Nicolaus analyst Hunter Keay, in a recent report."Last year Alaska had the best year in the history of the company -- generating 10.7% ROIC on a weighted average cost of capital of 8% (the airline's calculations), and Alaska's 13% operating margin should be the best among U.S. majors," Keay wrote. "Alaska has consistently outgrown the industry over the past three years yet also consistently delivered superior returns. If this type of performance does not justify modest growth, we don't know what does."
Why Wall Street Loves Alaska Airlines
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