American Airlines Group (AAL) Lowered to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research
American Airlines Group (NASDAQ:AAL) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Friday.
According to Zacks, “American Airlines reported better-than-expected earnings in the fourth quarter of 2018. Moreover, the bottom line increased year over year. Strong travel demand is major positive. Owing to this tailwind, passenger revenues have risen 3.9% in 2018. The company's earnings per share forecast for 2019 is also encouraging. Additionally, the company is anticipated to gain from oil prices in 2019. The carrier's measures to reward shareholders through dividends and share buybacks is also appreciative. However, the company reported lower-than-expected revenues in the fourth quarter. Also, high unit costs in the first quarter are likely to affect the company's bottom line. Notably, unit costs are expected to rise around 4% in the current quarter. Additionally, the company's high det levels concern us. In fact, shares of the company have underperformed its industry in a year.”
Other equities analysts also recently issued reports about the company. Goldman Sachs Group started coverage on American Airlines Group in a report on Monday, November 12th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $44.00 price target for the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $46.00 price target on American Airlines Group and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 30th. Citigroup upped their price target on American Airlines Group from $53.00 to $56.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, November 29th. Macquarie set a $53.00 price target on American Airlines Group and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 29th. Finally, Morgan Stanley upped their price target on American Airlines Group from $37.00 to $40.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 14th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $47.24.
American Airlines Group (NASDAQ:AAL) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 24th. The airline reported $1.04 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.01 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $10.94 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.94 billion. American Airlines Group had a negative return on equity of 322.87% and a net margin of 3.17%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 3.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.95 earnings per share. As a group, analysts predict that American Airlines Group will post 6.06 EPS for the current fiscal year.
In other news, Director Jeffrey D. Benjamin acquired 15,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 19th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $35.69 per share, with a total value of $535,350.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 22,146 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $790,390.74. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. 0.70% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Nomura Asset Management Co. Ltd. raised its stake in shares of American Airlines Group by 1.1% during the fourth quarter. Nomura Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 29,427 shares of the airline’s stock worth $945,000 after purchasing an additional 329 shares during the last quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY raised its stake in shares of American Airlines Group by 0.7% during the fourth quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY now owns 59,641 shares of the airline’s stock worth $1,915,000 after purchasing an additional 414 shares during the last quarter. Park Avenue Securities LLC raised its position in American Airlines Group by 4.9% in the fourth quarter. Park Avenue Securities LLC now owns 9,461 shares of the airline’s stock worth $301,000 after acquiring an additional 440 shares in the last quarter. CSat Investment Advisory L.P. raised its position in American Airlines Group by 29.8% in the fourth quarter. CSat Investment Advisory L.P. now owns 2,566 shares of the airline’s stock worth $82,000 after acquiring an additional 589 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Comerica Bank raised its position in American Airlines Group by 0.7% in the fourth quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 83,292 shares of the airline’s stock worth $3,023,000 after acquiring an additional 590 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 82.04% of the company’s stock.
About American Airlines Group
American Airlines Group Inc, through its subsidiaries, operates as a network air carrier. It provides scheduled air transportation services for passengers and cargo. As of December 31, 2017, the company operated a mainline fleet of 948 aircraft. It serves 350 destinations in approximately 50 countries, principally from its hubs in Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, and Phoenix, as well as in Washington, DC The company was formerly known as AMR Corporation and changed its name to American Airlines Group Inc in December 2013.
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