Spirit AeroSystems (SPR) Cut to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Spirit AeroSystems (NYSE:SPR) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Spirit AeroSystems is one of the largest independent non-OEM aircraft parts designers. Accelerated defense-related activities within the United States have been contributing to the company’s Fuselage Systems unit’s top-line growth. It is currently focusing on executing its supply-chain strategy, improving productivity and meeting its customers’ requirements for production rate changes. However, the company operates in a highly competitive market. In order to keep up with other players in this space, the company needs to invest substantially for technological progress that would increase capital expenses and in turn may adversely affect its operations and financial condition. Spirit AeroSystems has also underperformed the industry in the last six months.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Standpoint Research upgraded shares of Spirit AeroSystems from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Friday, October 12th. Bank of America upgraded shares of Spirit AeroSystems from a neutral rating to a buy rating and raised their target price for the stock from $100.00 to $105.00 in a research note on Thursday, November 8th. Wells Fargo & Co set a $105.00 target price on shares of Spirit AeroSystems and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, November 1st. Credit Suisse Group raised their target price on shares of Spirit AeroSystems from $102.00 to $103.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research note on Thursday, November 1st. Finally, ValuEngine cut shares of Spirit AeroSystems from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Monday, January 7th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Spirit AeroSystems currently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $106.00.

NYSE SPR opened at $79.47 on Thursday. Spirit AeroSystems has a 12 month low of $64.48 and a 12 month high of $105.20. The company has a market cap of $8.42 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.82, a PEG ratio of 1.40 and a beta of 1.19. The company has a current ratio of 1.57, a quick ratio of 1.06 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.67.

Spirit AeroSystems (NYSE:SPR) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, October 31st. The aerospace company reported $1.70 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.63 by $0.07. Spirit AeroSystems had a net margin of 7.92% and a return on equity of 46.86%. The company had revenue of $1.81 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.83 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.26 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 3.7% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, analysts expect that Spirit AeroSystems will post 6.2 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, January 7th. Stockholders of record on Monday, December 17th were given a dividend of $0.12 per share. This represents a $0.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.60%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, December 14th. Spirit AeroSystems’s payout ratio is currently 8.97%.

In other news, Director Robert D. Johnson sold 500 shares of Spirit AeroSystems stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $82.90, for a total transaction of $41,450.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 1,493 shares in the company, valued at $123,769.70. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, SVP John A. Pilla sold 9,642 shares of Spirit AeroSystems stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $84.01, for a total transaction of $810,024.42. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 21,866 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,836,962.66. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.87% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Scopia Capital Management LP increased its position in Spirit AeroSystems by 6.1% in the third quarter. Scopia Capital Management LP now owns 5,361,113 shares of the aerospace company’s stock worth $491,453,000 after purchasing an additional 310,584 shares during the last quarter. OZ Management LP increased its position in Spirit AeroSystems by 33.1% in the third quarter. OZ Management LP now owns 2,711,165 shares of the aerospace company’s stock worth $248,533,000 after purchasing an additional 674,692 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC increased its position in Spirit AeroSystems by 12.9% in the third quarter. FMR LLC now owns 2,321,501 shares of the aerospace company’s stock worth $212,811,000 after purchasing an additional 265,361 shares during the last quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. increased its position in Spirit AeroSystems by 1.8% in the third quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 1,669,049 shares of the aerospace company’s stock worth $153,002,000 after purchasing an additional 28,957 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its position in Spirit AeroSystems by 2.6% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 1,279,824 shares of the aerospace company’s stock worth $109,948,000 after purchasing an additional 31,891 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 96.59% of the company’s stock.

About Spirit AeroSystems

Spirit AeroSystems Holdings, Inc, through its subsidiaries, designs, manufactures, and supplies commercial aero structures worldwide. It operates through three segments: Fuselage Systems, Propulsion Systems, and Wing Systems. The Fuselage Systems segment develops, produces, and markets forward, mid, and rear fuselage sections and systems primarily to aircraft original equipment manufacturers (OEMs); and offers related spares and maintenance, repairs, and overhaul (MRO) services.

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