An ETF that is likely overlooked due to low average daily trading volume of 4,600 shares is Guggenheim Airline ETF (FAA), which is also unique in its niche as being the “only game in town” in delivering exposure to this specific sub-sector.
FAA tracks the NYSE ARCA Global Airline Index and currently the top component weightings look like the following: UAL (15.41%), DAL (15.41%), LUV (14.30%), DLAKY (4.82%), and LFL (4.61%). The ETF has about a 70-30 percentage split in terms of its U.S. airlines stock exposure versus internationally based airlines.
In terms of Airlines and their corresponding stocks, something that often comes up in conversation and analysis is the price of oil. The cost of fuel oil is clearly a pivotal part of the equation in the overall profitability of any given airline company, and the companies themselves often have hedging costs associated with controlling the potential rise of oil prices over time.
Granted, lower oil prices are desirable for airlines, as they are for consumers whom rely on automobile transportation, trucking companies, and anyone else whom is relying on oil as their main source of fuel.
Year to date, FAA has posted reasonably impressive returns, rising 13.86% while prominent oil futures based ETF DBO (PowerShares DB Oil) has fallen 8.25% during the same time period.
This inverse correlation is likely not a coincidence based on the general logic of the linkages in oil prices and Airline profitability as mapped out above. Since inception in 2009, FAA has risen 41.59% with DBO increasing 36.50% during the same time frame. FAA will likely remain in focus in the near term as many of the companies in the sector are expected to release earnings (UAL on 10/25, DAL 10/24, LUV 10/18 for instance).
Guggenheim Airline ETF
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