United Continental (NYSE:UAL) Upgraded to “Buy” at Buckingham Research

United Continental (NYSE:UAL) was upgraded by investment analysts at Buckingham Research from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday, December 19th, Marketbeat Ratings reports. The firm presently has a $81.00 target price on the transportation company’s stock, up from their previous target price of $65.00. Buckingham Research’s price target suggests a potential upside of 3.32% from the company’s previous close.

A number of other research firms have also issued reports on UAL. TheStreet raised shares of United Continental from a “c+” rating to a “b” rating in a research report on Thursday, December 7th. Bank of America reissued a “buy” rating and set a $84.00 price target (down from $85.00) on shares of United Continental in a research report on Tuesday, October 10th. Barclays reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $80.00 target price on shares of United Continental in a report on Monday, September 25th. Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $110.00 target price on shares of United Continental in a report on Wednesday, September 20th. Finally, Standpoint Research raised shares of United Continental from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, December 18th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating, nine have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $81.69.

United Continental (NYSE UAL) traded up $1.95 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $78.40. 4,433,600 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 3,705,007. The company has a quick ratio of 0.53, a current ratio of 0.60 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.37. The stock has a market cap of $22,648.50, a P/E ratio of 12.37, a PEG ratio of 1.82 and a beta of 1.05. United Continental has a 52 week low of $56.51 and a 52 week high of $83.04.

United Continental (NYSE:UAL) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, October 18th. The transportation company reported $2.22 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.12 by $0.10. United Continental had a net margin of 5.22% and a return on equity of 25.26%. The business had revenue of $9.88 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.87 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $3.11 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down .4% on a year-over-year basis. analysts predict that United Continental will post 6.59 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

United Continental announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback program on Thursday, December 7th that allows the company to buyback $3.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the transportation company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are usually a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

In other news, Director Robert A. Milton bought 1,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 24th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $58.60 per share, for a total transaction of $58,600.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now owns 6,176 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $361,913.60. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. 0.27% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Hosking Partners LLP boosted its holdings in United Continental by 1.6% in the second quarter. Hosking Partners LLP now owns 486,710 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $36,625,000 after purchasing an additional 7,737 shares in the last quarter. Pacad Investment Ltd. acquired a new position in United Continental in the second quarter valued at approximately $3,306,000. California Public Employees Retirement System boosted its holdings in shares of United Continental by 2.1% in the third quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 722,299 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $43,974,000 after acquiring an additional 14,899 shares during the period. Sciencast Management LP acquired a new stake in shares of United Continental in the second quarter valued at approximately $1,822,000. Finally, First Dallas Securities Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of United Continental in the third quarter valued at approximately $504,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 95.63% of the company’s stock.

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About United Continental

United Continental Holdings, Inc (UAL) is a holding company and its principal subsidiary is United Air Lines, Inc (United). The Company transports people and cargo through its mainline operations. It has global air rights in North America, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America. The Company, through United and its regional carriers, operates flights from its hubs at Newark Liberty International Airport (Newark Liberty), Chicago O’Hare International Airport (Chicago O’Hare), Denver International Airport (Denver), George Bush Intercontinental Airport (Houston Bush), Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), A.B.

Analyst Recommendations for United Continental (NYSE:UAL)

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