BOSTON (TheStreet) -- The airline industry has lost $1.7 billion since ash clouds from a volcano in Iceland started clogging trans-Atlantic travel a week ago. Investors trying to ride this year's boom in airline stocks should look for companies that are unlikely to lose business.Airline stocks have been climbing this year, with United Airlines' parent UAL ( UAUA) soaring 69% and US Airways ( LCC) surging 45%. The companies below are rated "buy" at TheStreet and serve areas that haven't been affected by the volcano. Here are reasons to consider buying shares:
- The majority of analysts covering the stocks rate them "buy."
- Their projected gains, based on median price targets, exceed 20% on average.
- The stocks are significantly cheaper than those of other airlines.
- At least five of the stocks' 10 largest shareholders expanded positions during the fourth quarter.
1. Hawaiian Holdings ( HA - Get Report) owns Hawaiian Airlines, which provides passenger and cargo flights betweeen Honolulu and more than 10 cities on the U.S. mainland. During the past three years, the company has boosted revenue 10% annually, on average.Quarter: Hawaiian swung to a fourth-quarter profit of $35 million, or 66 cents, from a loss of $12 million, or 23 cents, a year earlier. Revenue declined 1.2%. The operating margin fell to 5.5% from 13%. It has $328 million of cash and $253 million of debt. Stock: Hawaiian has risen 51% during the past year, trailing the S&P 500. It trades at a price-to-projected-earnings ratio of 6.5 and a price-to-book ratio of 2.1, 75% and 82% discounts to peer averages. It's also cheap based on sales and cash flow. Consensus: Of analysts covering Hawaiian, five, or 83%, advise purchasing its shares and one recommends holding them. Avondale Partners expects the stock to more than double to $16. Sidoti & Co. predicts the shares will climb 49% to $11. Holders: Five of Hawaiian's 10 largest owners, including Fidelity Investments and State Street ( STT), increased their bets during the fourth quarter. Five, including JPMorgan Chase ( JPM), cut their holdings. Fidelity owns about 15% of the float. -- Reported by Jake Lynch in Boston.