Aircastle Ltd. (NYSE:AYR) – Equities research analysts at FBR & Co lowered their Q3 2016 EPS estimates for shares of Aircastle in a report issued on Friday. FBR & Co analyst C. Nolan now expects that the firm will post earnings per share of $0.40 for the quarter, down from their prior forecast of $0.43. FBR & Co currently has a “Market Perform” rating and a $23.00 target price on the stock. FBR & Co also issued estimates for Aircastle’s Q4 2016 earnings at $0.40 EPS, FY2016 earnings at $1.63 EPS, Q1 2017 earnings at $0.47 EPS, Q2 2017 earnings at $0.49 EPS, Q3 2017 earnings at $0.50 EPS, Q4 2017 earnings at $0.51 EPS and FY2017 earnings at $1.99 EPS.

A number of other brokerages have also recently commented on AYR. TheStreet cut Aircastle from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 6th. Zacks Investment Research cut Aircastle from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, July 4th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $23.10.

Shares of Aircastle (NYSE:AYR) opened at 19.32 on Monday. Aircastle has a 52-week low of $15.06 and a 52-week high of $23.49. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $21.38 and a 200-day moving average price of $21.26. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.52 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.71 and a beta of 1.88.

Aircastle (NYSE:AYR) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, August 4th. The company reported $0.31 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.41 by $0.10. The firm had revenue of $190 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $188.25 million. Aircastle had a return on equity of 5.70% and a net margin of 11.68%. Aircastle’s revenue for the quarter was down 7.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.58 earnings per share.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Investors of record on Friday, August 26th were given a dividend of $0.24 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 24th. This represents a $0.96 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.97%. Aircastle’s dividend payout ratio is presently 82.05%.

In related news, insider Joseph Schreiner sold 4,998 shares of Aircastle stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $21.77, for a total transaction of $108,806.46. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 35,208 shares in the company, valued at $766,478.16. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 2.70% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in Aircastle by 5.2% in the first quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 59,740 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,329,000 after buying an additional 2,938 shares during the period. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. increased its stake in Aircastle by 1.3% in the first quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 1,515,900 shares of the company’s stock valued at $33,714,000 after buying an additional 18,884 shares during the period. Fox Run Management L.L.C. bought a new stake in Aircastle during the first quarter valued at approximately $345,000. KBC Group NV increased its stake in Aircastle by 424.5% in the second quarter. KBC Group NV now owns 180,106 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,523,000 after buying an additional 145,766 shares during the period. Finally, BlackRock Group LTD increased its stake in Aircastle by 12.3% in the first quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 62,580 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,393,000 after buying an additional 6,856 shares during the period. 65.19% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Aircastle

Aircastle Limited is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in investing in aviation assets, including acquiring, leasing, managing and selling utility commercial jet aircraft. The Company operates through leasing, financing, selling and managing commercial flight equipment segment.

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