Do winter storms really need to be named storms? In all honesty, this is something that from the eyes and ears of a financial news analyst looks and sounds a lot like an opportunity for the media to hype up yet one more event to make you stay glued to the TV, web, and radio. As it turns out, Nemo is a real story and the amount of snow and the wind is going to basically shut down much of the Northeast. So, we cannot help but notice that some of the key airlines are at or very close to 52-week highs today.
The airports, airlines, and travelers are all about to be hosed from this storm. A website we use to track airline data is FlightAware.com and the impact is going to be broad. As of about 11 AM there were already more than 4,000 flights to and from the area which have been cancelled. As this storm gets closer, you can expect the number of flight cancellations to grow further as a foot and a half or more is expected to hit Boston and the surrounding areas. It is so much snow that even Amtrak is closing some traffic.
Rhode Island is expected to get two feet of snow and even New Jersey may get a foot of snow. As far as which public airlines will be hit, the answer is almost all of them. The good news is that it is only having a mixed impact on the share prices of the carriers:
- AMR Corporation (OTC: AAMRQ) is up the most, perhaps as a merger of sorts is supposedly coming any day now. It looks like shareholders of the common stock won’t get entirely wiped out here. This stock is OTC but its shares are up 25% at $1.62 against a 52-week range of $0.36 to $1.66. US Airways Group, Inc. (NYSE: LCC) is down almost 2% at $14.83 against a 52-week range of $6.78 to $15.64.
- United Continental Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: UAL) is up over 2% at $26.29 against a prior 52-week range of $17.45 to $26.37. What matters here is that shares hit a new 52-week high of $26.44 earlier on Friday.
- Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL) is down 1.7% at $14.59 against a 52-week range of $8.42 to $14.89, but shares got within 1-cent of a 52-week high on Friday.
- JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ: JBLU) is up 0.7% at $5.93 against a 52-week range of $4.06 to $6.42.
- Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) is up 0.3% at $11.66 and shares hit a new 52-week high as the prior range was $7.76 to $11.65 today.