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United Airlines (UAL)

United Airlines (UAL)

After the case was made as to why low-cost carriers are the best airline stocks to buy, why is this legacy carrier included on our list? Sure, it doesn’t expect to make a full recovery until 2023. Despite leisure travel quickly coming back, a comeback for business and international travel is still a work in progress.

But much of this is built on recent pessimism about when exactly an overall “return to normal” will happen. If the issues with the Delta variant clear up, will worldwide travel be able to get back to pre-pandemic levels? UAL stock, which has pulled back more than 20% from its recovery high, may again resume its upward climb.

As of now, analyst estimates for 2022 profitability run the gamut from a loss of 6.57 per share to earnings of $5.80 per share. If things get better rather than worse, sooner rather than later, how will the most optimistic projections pan out? United Airlines shares may have a clear path back above the $60 per share level.

Admittedly, compared to the other names listed here, risk/return may be less optimal. If the Delta variant gets worse, a full-on air travel recovery could be delayed again. As a result, UAL stock may be at risk of falling back toward the depressed prices it fell to during the height of lockdowns. Keep it on your radar, but it may be best to wait for another price drop.

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Gordon Fox is the editor of investinglate.com and writes about Investments, Savings, and how to make the most of your money