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JetBlue Double-Upgraded, United and Spirit Lifted at J.P. Morgan

JetBlue, United and Spirit should benefit from an industry recovery in 2022 that signals “upside potential in excess of 40%” for several stocks, J.P. Morgan said.

JetBlue  (JBLU) - Get JetBlue Airways Corporation Report, United Airlines  (UAL) - Get United Airlines Holdings, Inc. Report and Spirit Airlines  (SAVE) - Get Spirit Airlines, Inc. Report all saw their shares rise Wednesday as J.P. Morgan analyst Jamie Baker upgraded them amid expectations of a recovery for the industry in 2022.

JetBlue received a double upgrade.

Airline stocks also have benefited from President Donald Trump on Tuesday called on Congress to approve $25 billion in aid for airlines. 

As for J.P. Morgan, an industry recovery in 2022 signals “upside potential in excess of 40%” for several stocks, Baker said in a commentary cited by Bloomberg.

He upgraded JetBlue, Long Island City, N.Y., to overweight from underweight, lifting his share-price target to $17 from $12. 

JetBlue recently traded at $12.11, up 5.2%. The shares have slumped 34% year to date. 

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He upgraded Chicago-based United Airlines to overweight from neutral, boosting its share-price target to $52 from $44. 

United recently traded at $35.96, up 3.1%. The stock has dropped 58% year to date.

And he upgraded Spirit Air, Miramar, Fla., to neutral from underweight, increasing his share-price target to $19 from $14.

Spirit recently traded at $16.11, up 32.3%. The stock has fallen 60% year to date.

Still, “we wouldn’t extrapolate these changes to mean a renewed bullishness for 2021 fundamentals; quite the opposite, in fact,” Baker said.

Airline stocks dropped sharply Tuesday after Trump pulled his negotiators out of talks with Congress on a fiscal-stimulus package. 

He tweeted that the Senate would no longer consider the $2.2 trillion stimulus bill proposed by House Democrats, dashing hopes for airlines that they might be able to hold off large-scale furloughs and layoffs.