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8 Stocks to Consider Ahead of Earnings

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United Continental Holdings

Friday's Closing Price: $18.43

12-Month Median Price Target: $32

Implied Potential Return: 73.6%

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: N/A

Current Analyst Coverage Breakdown: Of the 16 analysts covering the shares, 15 have either strong buy (5) or buy (10) ratings vs. 1 hold.

Commentary: United Continental reports its fiscal fourth-quarter results on Jan. 23, and Wall Street is expecting a profit of 14 cents a share in the December-ended period on revenue of $8.93 billion.

The airline is the only stock on the list that's down in the past year, falling nearly 30%. Since hitting a 52-week low of $15.92 on Aug. 8 though, the shares have advanced close to 16% at current levels.

Sterne Agee reiterated a buy rating and $32 price target on the stock this past Wednesday but trimmed its still well above-consensus earnings estimate for the fourth quarter to 28 cents a share from 54 cents a share after the company reported traffic and revenue per available seat figures for the period that were lower than its projections. The estimate change aside, the firm is still a big bull on United Continental.

"Despite the adjustments to December figures, we continue to believe that UAL will benefit as it grows its share of higher-yielding business travel, and improves its operations via the integration of the Continental network and an upgrade of its fleet," Sterne Agee said.

Check out TheStreet's quote page for United Continental for year-to-date share performance, analyst ratings, earnings estimates and much more.

-- Written by Michael Baron in New York.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Michael Baron.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to:
Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.
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