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American Airlines Group (AAL) Continues Upward Climb After Analyst Upgrades

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- American Airlines Group  (AAL) continued its rise from Tuesday after J.P. Morgan  (JPM) and Raymond James upgraded the world's largest airline.

Raymond James upgraded the stock to "outperform" from "market perform" and raised its earnings per share forecast to $4.15 from $2.95. J.P. Morgan raised its earnings per share forecast for 2014 to $5 from $4.08 and also raised its prediction for 2015.

The stock was rising 3.41% to $33.04 at 2:27 p.m. on Wednesday.

American reported its quarterly results on Tuesday and said combined sales climbed 8.7% in the quarter ended in December to $9.98 billion, which surpassed the $9.9 billion average estimate among analysts polled by BloombergProfit also reached $436 million excluding some costs vs. a loss of $42 million in the same period one year earlier.

American Airlines' former parent group AMR Corp. climbed out of bankruptcy in December after a merger with U.S. Airways Group. The deal. which became official on Dec. 9, catapulted the new American Airlines Group into the number one spot in the industry worldwide by traffic just two years after AMR looked for court protection after it suffered annual losses starting in 2008.

"The early returns on our merger are very positive," said American Airlines Group CEO Doug Parker in the company's statement. "Our teams are working well together and our customers are already beginning to see the benefits of our combined network. We have much work ahead, but believe we are on our way to restoring American as the greatest airline in the world. These financial results are evidence of the strong foundation we have in place and we anticipate improving upon these results as we further integrate our operations in 2014."

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