Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Air Lease (NYSE:AL) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Wednesday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $44.00 price objective on the transportation company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Air Lease  is being aided by strong passenger traffic causing an increase in demand for planes. With the overall economy remaining buoyant, passenger traffic has been bumping up. The company has been reaping benefits of the new tax law ever since its implementation. Moreover, efforts to expand the company’s fleet encourage us. Air Lease's measures to reward shareholders in the form of dividend payments is also encouraging. The company's board recently raised the quarterly cash dividend by 30% from 10 cents per share to 13 cents. The positivity revolving around the stock is evident from the Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-quarter earnings being revised 3.1% upward over the last 60 days. However, rising operating expenses pose a challenge and might limit bottom line growth in the fourth quarter. We are also concerned about Air Lease's high debt levels.”

Other research analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. Bank of America reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $57.00 price objective on shares of Air Lease in a research note on Thursday, August 16th. Seaport Global Securities initiated coverage on Air Lease in a research note on Wednesday, October 10th. They set a buy rating on the stock. Compass Point reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $58.00 price objective on shares of Air Lease in a research note on Sunday, August 12th. Cowen reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $54.00 price objective on shares of Air Lease in a research note on Friday, November 30th. Finally, Morgan Stanley reduced their price objective on Air Lease from $47.00 to $45.00 and set an equal weight rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, November 14th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating, eight have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $54.45.

NYSE AL opened at $37.91 on Wednesday. Air Lease has a twelve month low of $35.97 and a twelve month high of $50.70. The company has a current ratio of 0.80, a quick ratio of 0.80 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.48. The stock has a market cap of $3.95 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.39, a PEG ratio of 0.98 and a beta of 1.83.

Air Lease (NYSE:AL) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 8th. The transportation company reported $1.32 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.23 by $0.09. Air Lease had a return on equity of 11.44% and a net margin of 51.81%. The business had revenue of $450.70 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $443.01 million. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.50 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 19.6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that Air Lease will post 4.56 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 9th. Investors of record on Thursday, December 13th will be paid a $0.13 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, December 12th. This is a boost from Air Lease’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.10. This represents a $0.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.37%. Air Lease’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 10.96%.

In related news, EVP Grant A. Levy sold 15,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $45.13, for a total value of $676,950.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 153,399 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,922,896.87. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 9.32% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of AL. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA boosted its position in Air Lease by 14.7% during the 2nd quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 243,220 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $10,208,000 after acquiring an additional 31,182 shares in the last quarter. Aperio Group LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Air Lease by 66.0% during the second quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 155,928 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $6,544,000 after purchasing an additional 61,968 shares during the last quarter. First Trust Advisors LP lifted its holdings in shares of Air Lease by 2.4% during the second quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 751,019 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $31,520,000 after purchasing an additional 17,650 shares during the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Air Lease by 13.3% during the second quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 75,610 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $3,173,000 after purchasing an additional 8,854 shares during the last quarter. Finally, CIBC Private Wealth Group LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Air Lease by 6,850.6% during the second quarter. CIBC Private Wealth Group LLC now owns 23,354 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $980,000 after purchasing an additional 23,018 shares during the last quarter. 88.20% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Air Lease Company Profile

Air Lease Corporation, an aircraft leasing company, engages in the purchase and leasing of commercial jet transport aircraft to airlines worldwide. The company also sells aircraft from its operating lease portfolio to third parties, including other leasing companies, financial services companies, and airlines.

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Analyst Recommendations for Air Lease (NYSE:AL)

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