NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of United Continental Holdings  (UAL) - Get United Airlines Holdings, Inc. Report rose more than 5% to a 52-week high of $73.19 in morning trading Thursday after the airline issued a bullish 2015 forecast in its fourth-quarter earnings report.

The airline said it is bullish about 2015 as it sees first-quarter pre-tax margin of 5% to 7%.

"As our cost initiatives mature throughout 2015, we anticipate that 2015 consolidated CASM, excluding fuel and third-party business expense, will be approximately flat," said CFO John Rainey in a statement. CASM is cost per available seat mile.

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United reported fourth-quarter earnings per share of $1.20, a 54% year-over-year increase. But analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected $1.22 a share. Revenue fell 0.2% to $9.3 billion, in line with the consensus estimate.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates UNITED CONTINENTAL HLDGS INC as a "buy" with a ratings score of B-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

TheStreet Recommends

"We rate UNITED CONTINENTAL HLDGS INC (UAL) a BUY. This is driven by multiple strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, notable return on equity and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated."

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