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Anyone who has read about the airline industry in the past few months knows of the recent debacle at O’Hare for United Continental Holdings (UAL - Free Report) . The company was in hot water thanks to the removal of a passenger from an airplane, which quickly went viral and was one of the more shocking events in air travel in quite some time.

Undoubtedly, this event damaged the company’s brand, and United has become a bit of a punchline thanks to the matter too. However, while the PR hit could take a while to dissipate, investors will note that United stock has continued to weather the storm and has actually been climbing higher as of late.

United in Focus

Shares of United just hit fresh highs, and revenues remain on the right track, expected to grow at modest levels for both this year and next year. The company has also seen rising earnings estimates as of late too, including several estimate increases in just the past week alone.

And for the current year and next year time frames, we actually haven’t seen any analysts reduce their estimates at all (in the past two months), suggesting there is total agreement about United’s improving story. Plus, with the consensus estimate having moved up by over 5% for both the current year and next year, the magnitude of the increase has also been impressive too.

It isn’t like United has a difficult time in meeting expectations either, as the company has missed earnings estimates once since late 2013, and it hasn’t missed at all since the start of 2016.

No wonder the stock has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and why more outperformance is expected from this company in the near future.

Bottom Line

If you go beyond the awful headlines, investors will see that United actually is a pretty promising story for investors right now. Not only are fundamentals strong for the underlying company, but oil prices look to be kept in check—thanks largely to soaring shale production—while a top 25% industry rank for the airline industry at large suggests broad strength across the space.

So, if you are looking for a strong consumer name that is able to overcome public relation issues and march higher nonetheless, give UAL stock a closer look. It has just moved up into ‘strong buy’ territory within the past week, so there still could be plenty of time to get in on this top-notch story before its next move higher.

 

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