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JP Morgan Initiates UAL Corp. with 'Buy'

JP Morgan initiated UAL Corp. (UAL) with buy, and set a $24 target.

Analyst Jamie Baker says UAL, the parent company of United Airlines, is his top pick in the airlines group. He says United Air requires labor relief in order to thrive, but not survive. Absent concession to labor, he says he can still see profits as early as 2004.

Baker notes current losses are very large, but not significantly worse than AMR Corp's losses (AMR is the parent company of American Airlines). He also says UAL's $2.9 billion in liquidity tops the industry.

Baker doesn't see UAL facing a liquidity crisis; he thinks the airline enjoys a wide range of financing options, including a government loan program. The stock has suffered most of any major airline, as the market appears to be treating UAL as terminally ill; but Baker he views UAL as an airline in remission.

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