AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC.

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Omicron surge puts the brakes on recovery of U.S. companies

01/11/2022 | 02:29pm EDT
A view of an American Eagle Outfitters store in Arlington, Virginia

(Reuters) - U.S. companies ranging from American Eagle to United Airlines are set for a tepid start to the year as the fast-spreading Omicron variant threatens to slow the fragile rebound in growth by exacerbating supply chain problems and labor shortages.

The roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines and easing of restrictions last year had promised to be a boon for companies looking to recover from the heavy toll that the pandemic had taken on them.

But the fast and relentless surge of Omicron-related infections has once again put sales and profits of companies under pressure.

Staffing, customer traffic and store operating hours have been hampered as the daily infections in the United States touched 1.35 million, the highest in the world.

The first signs of its impact on Corporate America is the hit to sales over the recent weeks seen by companies such as American Eagle Outfitters, Abercrombie & Fitch and Lululemon Athletica.

"Time to perhaps buckle your seat-belts as a bumpy end to the fourth quarter and uncertainty surrounding supply chain and anniversarying stimulus impacts in the first quarter are likely to make the next few months volatile," MKM Partners analyst Roxanne Meyer said.

The U.S. travel industry, a sector that has barely been able to get back on its feet, too has been jolted by staff shortages forcing cancellations of flights and cruises during the crucial holiday.

American Airlines Group Inc expects cost per available seat mile to be up 13% to 14% compared to pre-pandemic levels, while United Airlines said it was reducing near-term flight schedules as about 3,000 employees have tested positive for COVID-19.

However, some companies have stood to benefit. Pharmacy chain CVS Health Corp raised its 2021 profit view on expectations of higher demand for COVID-19 vaccines and over-the-counter testing, while Abbott Laboratories expects sales of its COVID-19 tests to stay strong in the near term.

(Reporting by Praveen Paramasivam and Deborah Sophia in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri, Aditya Soni and Arun Koyyur)

By Uday Sampath Kumar and Praveen Paramasivam


© Reuters 2022
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC. 5.16% 18.13 Delayed Quote.0.95%
AMERICAN EAGLE OUTFITTERS, INC. -6.63% 13.09 Delayed Quote.-48.30%
LULULEMON ATHLETICA INC. 2.15% 293.65 Delayed Quote.-24.98%
URBAN OUTFITTERS, INC. 3.98% 21.68 Delayed Quote.-26.16%
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Analyst Recommendations on AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC.
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Financials (USD)
Sales 2022 46 133 M - -
Net income 2022 -1 314 M - -
Net Debt 2022 30 534 M - -
P/E ratio 2022 -9,48x
Yield 2022 -
Capitalization 11 776 M 11 776 M -
EV / Sales 2022 0,92x
EV / Sales 2023 0,83x
Nbr of Employees 127 000
Free-Float 99,0%
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Mean consensus HOLD
Number of Analysts 23
Last Close Price 18,13 $
Average target price 19,56 $
Spread / Average Target 7,86%
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Managers and Directors
Robert D. Isom Chief Executive Officer & Director
Derek J. Kerr Executive VP, Chief Financial & Accounting Officer
William Douglas Parker Chairman
Maya Leibman Chief Information Officer & Executive VP
David G. Seymour Chief Operating Officer & Senior Vice President