Winners and Losers  


Stock Market Tracking

What can we learn from the changes in market valuation of different companies?  Frankly, not very much!  Does it make sense that (as of November 2001) Southwest Airlines has a marketplace capitalization greater than the combined values of Delta, Continental, United, American, Northwest and British Airways all added together?  Does it make sense that Irish based discount carrier RyanAir is worth almost 50% more than British Airways?  Or are we seeing an airline industry equivalent to some of the nonsensical dot com valuations of the last five years?

Who knows if it makes sense or not!  But here are some charts so you too can watch and wonder as to the meaning of it all.

The charts cover the last three months and the last one and five years, and track the relative price of the shares of each stock.  Charts are updated weekly.

    Week of 17 January :  Although American and Continental reported awful fourth quarter results this week, they had generally been anticipated and the market scarcely blinked.

Week of 10 January :  A mixed week for the market as a whole and not very good for the airlines.  And Southwest continues to slip on the three month chart, now coming in at number four position - only United has fared worse.

Week of 3 January :  Another great week for the airline stocks and the market as a whole.  In a surprise move, Northwest has displaced Southwest as the best performing stock over the last three months.  Southwest remains the clear leader over the 1 and 5 year time frames.

Week of 27 December :  As the year comes to a close, the Dow is happily back over 10,000 and the airline index halfway back to its pre-Sep 11 levels.

Week of 20 December :  Renewed labor problems at UAL saw its stock drop, while an announcement of continued growth plans at LUV saw its shares once more point upwards.

Week of 13 December :  American Airlines announced that their 4Q and full year losses would be very very big.  And so its share price increased!

Week of 29 November :  This week's big movement was with a non-tracked stock, US Airways, that registered a sharp drop with the resignation of CEO Rakesh Gangwal.  Something also happened to the charting program and Continental doesn't appear on the charts this week.

Week of 22 November :  Airline stocks took a sharp decline in the last week for no immediately obvious reason.  Northwest drew ahead of Delta on the 3 month and one year charts.

Week of 15 November :  The American Airlines tragedy in New York on Monday caused a drop in all airline prices, but by the end of Thursday, AA was back above its price prior to the accident on Monday morning.


Three Month Trend


One Year Trend


Five Year Trend

Symbols :
AMR - American   CAL - Continental   DAL - Delta   LUV - Southwest   NWAC - Northwest   UAL - United

US Airline Profits since deregulation

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Copyright 2001 by David M Rowell.