American Airlines Group (AAL) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Buy”

American Airlines Group (NASDAQ:AAL) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Tuesday, February 13th. The brokerage currently has a $56.00 target price on the airline’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target would indicate a potential upside of 4.89% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Shares of American Airlines have outperformed its industry in the last three months. The company reported better-than-expected earnings per share and revenues in the fourth quarter of 2017. Additionally, both metrics improved on a year-over-year basis. Strong demand for air travel coupled with improving yields also aided results. The company's performance with respect to unit revenues was also encouraging in the quarter. Efforts to modernize its fleet too raise optimism in the stock. The company efforts to reward shareholders through dividends and share buybacks are also impressive. During 2017, the company returned $1.7 billion to shareholders through dividends and buybacks. However, high costs and debt levels are a cause for worry. “

A number of other equities research analysts have also commented on the stock. Sanford C. Bernstein upgraded shares of American Airlines Group from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and upped their price target for the company from $52.59 to $62.00 in a report on Wednesday, January 31st. Morgan Stanley boosted their price objective on shares of American Airlines Group from $58.00 to $60.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Friday, January 26th. Buckingham Research boosted their price objective on shares of American Airlines Group from $71.00 to $75.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, January 26th. Stephens reissued a “hold” rating and set a $61.00 price objective on shares of American Airlines Group in a research report on Friday, January 26th. Finally, Imperial Capital reissued an “in-line” rating and set a $53.00 price objective (up from $47.00) on shares of American Airlines Group in a research report on Thursday, January 11th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating, ten have issued a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. American Airlines Group presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $61.32.

American Airlines Group (AAL) traded up $0.41 during trading hours on Tuesday, reaching $53.39. 3,394,712 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 5,790,000. American Airlines Group has a 52 week low of $39.21 and a 52 week high of $59.08. The company has a quick ratio of 0.52, a current ratio of 0.61 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 5.73. The company has a market cap of $25,740.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.47, a P/E/G ratio of 1.14 and a beta of 0.96.

American Airlines Group (NASDAQ:AAL) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 25th. The airline reported $0.95 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.92 by $0.03. American Airlines Group had a net margin of 4.55% and a return on equity of 63.78%. The company had revenue of $10.60 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.59 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.92 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 8.3% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts predict that American Airlines Group will post 5.8 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, CEO W Douglas Parker sold 224,572 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.32, for a total value of $11,749,607.04. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 1,925,242 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $100,728,661.44. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Matthew J. Hart sold 35,182 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, February 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.90, for a total transaction of $1,825,945.80. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 33,258 shares in the company, valued at $1,726,090.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 302,416 shares of company stock worth $15,826,647 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.64% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in AAL. WFG Advisors LP grew its position in American Airlines Group by 28.1% during the 2nd quarter. WFG Advisors LP now owns 2,367 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $119,000 after purchasing an additional 519 shares during the last quarter. Exane Derivatives grew its position in American Airlines Group by 416.3% during the 3rd quarter. Exane Derivatives now owns 2,592 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $123,000 after purchasing an additional 2,090 shares during the last quarter. Johnson Financial Group Inc. purchased a new stake in American Airlines Group during the 4th quarter valued at about $127,000. Blue Granite Capital LLC purchased a new stake in American Airlines Group during the 3rd quarter valued at about $131,000. Finally, NuWave Investment Management LLC purchased a new stake in American Airlines Group during the 4th quarter valued at about $145,000. 81.69% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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American Airlines Group Company Profile

American Airlines Group Inc is a holding company. The Company’s primary business activity is the operation of a network air carrier, providing scheduled air transportation for passengers and cargo. The Company operates through American segment, which provides air transportation for passengers and cargo.

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