NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of United Continental Holdings (UAL) are gaining by 1.73% to $54.18 in early afternoon trading on Monday as some airline stocks get a boost from positive comments made about them in a Barron's report published over the weekend.
The report stated that the top four carriers in the U.S, United, Delta Air Lines (DAL), American Airlines (AAL), and Southwest Airlines (LUV) could all see their shares rise between 15% and 50% in a year.
At the end of June 2014, prior to the drop in oil prices, Wall Street had estimated that the four carriers would grow their combined EBITDA by 7% to $22.7 billion. The current forecast is for a growth of 40% to $29.2 billion, Barron's said.
Declining debt, rising profit margins, cut backs on regional flying and reductions in small planes are all positive factors that can help lead United to a growth in shares, Barron's noted.
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:
"We rate UNITED CONTINENTAL HLDGS INC (UAL) a BUY. This is driven by a number of 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 solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations and compelling growth in net income. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated."