Airline stocks such as Delta and U.S. Airways are set to soar on better-than-expected earnings as consumer confidence increases, capacity continues to come offline and fuel costs remain tame.
"There are fewer of them now so they have pricing power and synergies which give them an EPS cushion, and they're hedged on fuel costs," said Stephanie Link, money manager and director of research at TheStreet.com.
Shares of Delta are already up 60 percent this year to lead the pack, while United is up 35 percent. U.S. Airways and Southwest are both up 30 percent for 2013. Those gains many continue this earnings season if history is any guide. The group is set to report two weeks from now.
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Delta's earnings exceed analysts' estimates 54 percent of the time, according to data compiled by Bespoke Investment Group. That beat causes the shares to jump 6 percent, on average, a week following earnings, Bespoke data shows.