United Continental (UAL) Lifted to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of United Continental (NYSE:UAL) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Tuesday. Zacks Investment Research currently has $72.00 price target on the transportation company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of United Continental have outperformed its industry in the last three months. The stock rallied 12.1% against the industry's gain of 8.1% in the period. Ushering in further good news, the company reported better-than-expected earnings and revenues in the fourth quarter of 2017. The top line also increased substantillay year over year. Strong demand for air travel aided the top line. We are also impressed by the company's efforts to reward its shareholders. The company has repurchased stock worth $553 million in the final quarter of 2017. The company's effoorts to expand operations are a further positive. However, high costs hurt the company's bottom line in the fourth quarter. We are also concerned about capacity overexpansion woes at United Continental. “

UAL has been the topic of several other reports. TheStreet raised shares of United Continental from a c+ rating to a b rating in a report on Thursday, December 7th. Evercore ISI raised shares of United Continental from an in-line rating to an outperform rating and set a $68.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Wednesday, October 25th. Stifel Nicolaus reissued a buy rating and set a $100.00 price objective (down from $110.00) on shares of United Continental in a report on Friday, October 20th. Imperial Capital lifted their price objective on shares of United Continental from $57.00 to $64.00 and gave the company an in-line rating in a report on Wednesday, December 13th. Finally, Bank of America lifted their price objective on shares of United Continental from $80.00 to $83.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, January 24th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $82.87.

United Continental (UAL) opened at $66.52 on Tuesday. The stock has a market cap of $19,710.00, a P/E ratio of 10.38 and a beta of 1.02. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.37, a quick ratio of 0.53 and a current ratio of 0.60. United Continental has a 1-year low of $56.51 and a 1-year high of $83.04.

United Continental (NYSE:UAL) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, January 23rd. The transportation company reported $1.40 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.95 by $0.45. The company had revenue of $9.44 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $9.41 billion. United Continental had a net margin of 5.65% and a return on equity of 23.43%. United Continental’s revenue was up 4.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.78 earnings per share. equities analysts predict that United Continental will post 7.43 EPS for the current year.

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

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. grew its holdings in shares of United Continental by 9.4% during the second quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. now owns 5,889 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $443,000 after buying an additional 508 shares during the last quarter. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of United Continental by 2.5% during the fourth quarter. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC now owns 31,567 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $2,128,000 after buying an additional 780 shares during the last quarter. M&T Bank Corp grew its holdings in shares of United Continental by 3.8% during the fourth quarter. M&T Bank Corp now owns 21,539 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $1,453,000 after buying an additional 786 shares during the last quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC grew its holdings in shares of United Continental by 10.4% during the third quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC now owns 8,976 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $546,000 after buying an additional 848 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Hennessy Advisors Inc. grew its holdings in shares of United Continental by 3.7% during the third quarter. Hennessy Advisors Inc. now owns 28,200 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $1,717,000 after buying an additional 1,000 shares during the last quarter. 94.21% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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United Continental Company Profile

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.

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