#1 US Airways Group
Ticker: LCC
YTD stock performance: 152%
Market cap: $2.1 billion
Fortune 500 rank: 208

Since the start of the year, US Airways (LCC, Fortune 500) shares have been on a tear as the airline pursues a merger with AMR Corporation, the parent of American Airlines and American Eagle, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy at the end of 2011.

US Airways, the nation's fifth-largest carrier, first acknowledged the possibility of a merger in January, when it disclosed that it had hired advisers to explore a possible deal. Speculation continued to build throughout the year. In December, American confirmed that it has shared confidential financial information with US Airways management as part of discussions for a possible deal, which the industry's major unions support.

US Airways mostly operates domestically and faces stiff competition from low-cost carriers like Southwest Airlines (LUV, Fortune 500). But analysts say a merger with American would make it a much bigger player internationally.

Source: CNNMoney
Data as of Dec. 7 market close, provided by S&P Capital IQ.
  @FortuneMagazine - Last updated December 19 2012 02:52 PM ET
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