Spirit Airlines (NASDAQ:SAVE) Lowered to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Spirit Airlines (NASDAQ:SAVE) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a note issued to investors on Monday, January 8th.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Spirit Airlines have underperformed its industry in a year’s time due to multiple headwinds. The rise in fuel costs also does not augur well for the stock. Fuel costs in the fourth quarter of 2017 are predicted to be much higher than the year-ago figure. This, in turn, is likely to hurt the bottom line in the quarter. The negative sentiment surrounding the stock can be gauged from the fact that the Zacks Consensus Estimate for fourth-quarter earnings has moved south 2% over the last 90 days. Additionally, Spirit Airlines' guidance for fourth-quarter TRASM is disappointing. The metric is expected to fall in the range of 4-6%. We are also concerned about the fact that traffic growth is being outpaced by capacity expansion. Capacity is anticipated to grow 17.5% year over year in the fourth quarter. The metric is projected to expand further in 2018. We are, however, impressed by the carrier's efforts to modernize its fleet.”

A number of other analysts have also issued reports on the company. Deutsche Bank upgraded Spirit Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their target price for the company from $40.00 to $58.00 in a report on Thursday, December 21st. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered Spirit Airlines from a “neutral” rating to an “underweight” rating and set a $39.00 price objective for the company. in a report on Wednesday, November 1st. Morgan Stanley increased their price objective on Spirit Airlines from $38.00 to $39.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Monday, October 23rd. BidaskClub upgraded Spirit Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, December 27th. Finally, Citigroup increased their price objective on Spirit Airlines from $48.00 to $50.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, October 27th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $46.75.

Shares of Spirit Airlines (NASDAQ:SAVE) traded down $0.95 during trading hours on Monday, hitting $41.07. The stock had a trading volume of 883,746 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,569,300. The firm has a market cap of $2,920.00, a P/E ratio of 13.04, a PEG ratio of 1.82 and a beta of 0.75. Spirit Airlines has a one year low of $30.32 and a one year high of $60.28. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.77, a current ratio of 1.88 and a quick ratio of 1.88.

Spirit Airlines announced that its board has authorized a stock buyback plan on Thursday, October 26th that authorizes the company to repurchase $100.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the transportation company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, VP John A. Bendoraitis sold 2,340 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, December 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.92, for a total value of $100,432.80. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. 0.33% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company lifted its stake in Spirit Airlines by 7.0% during the second quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 2,160 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $112,000 after purchasing an additional 141 shares during the period. Advisor Group Inc. lifted its stake in Spirit Airlines by 18.8% during the second quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 2,170 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $113,000 after purchasing an additional 344 shares during the period. First Personal Financial Services lifted its stake in Spirit Airlines by 87.9% during the third quarter. First Personal Financial Services now owns 3,088 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $103,000 after purchasing an additional 1,445 shares during the period. State of Alaska Department of Revenue bought a new position in Spirit Airlines during the fourth quarter worth about $183,000. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. bought a new position in Spirit Airlines during the third quarter worth about $142,000.

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About Spirit Airlines

Spirit Airlines, Inc is an airline company. The Company provides air transportation for passengers. As of December 31, 2016, its all-Airbus Fit Fleet operated over 420 daily flights to 59 destinations in the United States, Caribbean and Latin America. As of December 31, 2016, it had a fleet of 95 Airbus single-aisle aircraft, which are referred to as A320 family aircraft and include the A319, A320 and A321 models, which have common design and equipment but differ most notably in fuselage length, service range and seat capacity.

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