NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of United Continental (UAL - Get Report) were advancing in mid-morning trading Tuesday after analysts at Imperial Capital initiated coverage of the stock with an "outperform" rating and a $57 price target in a note cited by Barron's.

The firm said there are a number of reasons to support its constructive view on the stock, including "great domestic hubs" like San Francisco, Newark, Houston, Denver and Chicago.

Despite having an Asia-Pacific presence that "surpasses many of its peers," United Continental has faced "more than its share of challenges" since merging Continental Airlines in 2010, Imperial said.

"We expect the recent appointments of CFO Andrew Levy and CCO Julia Haywood will improve the problem solving skills at United Continental and provide an entrepreneurial bent, which, in our view, were attributes in short supply" at the company recently, the firm noted.

Imperial added that new labor contracts will help to integrate United and Continental workers as well as improve morale and productivity, according to Barron's.

If the company's mechanics approve a recent agreement with its Teamsters union, United Continental will have achieved its goal of having contracts in place with all key unions, Imperial said.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.

TheStreet Ratings rated this stock as a "buy" with a ratings score of B-.

The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: UAL