United Continental has been cruising at a lower altitude than its rivals.
The carrier has climbed 31 percent this year. While that's impressive compared with the broad market — more than triple the rise of the Standard & Poor's 500 index — competitors have surged even more. Delta Air Lines, American Airlines Group and Southwest Airlines have jumped between 44 percent and 83 percent.
Inconsistent performance has hurt United: It reported a loss in the first quarter, for example, when American, Delta and Southwest all reported profits. But several analysts are optimistic. Credit Suisse calls United its top pick in the industry, citing improving operations and cost cutting.
United said Monday it is offering flight attendants up to $100,000 in severance to leave the company.
Total returns through Sept. 16
Source: FactSetAssociated Press
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