Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE:ALK) was the target of a significant growth in short interest in the month of October. As of October 13th, there was short interest totalling 7,140,093 shares, a growth of 57.1% from the September 29th total of 4,543,778 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 1,475,350 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 4.8 days. Approximately 5.8% of the shares of the company are sold short.

In other Alaska Air Group news, EVP Andrew R. Harrison sold 2,350 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $86.03, for a total value of $202,170.50. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 21,328 shares in the company, valued at $1,834,847.84. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Chairman Bradley D. Tilden sold 2,400 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $85.83, for a total transaction of $205,992.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now owns 140,346 shares in the company, valued at $12,045,897.18. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.57% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS increased its holdings in Alaska Air Group by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS now owns 9,183 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $824,000 after acquiring an additional 24 shares in the last quarter. ING Groep NV increased its holdings in Alaska Air Group by 0.5% in the 2nd quarter. ING Groep NV now owns 6,325 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $568,000 after acquiring an additional 32 shares in the last quarter. CIBC Asset Management Inc increased its holdings in Alaska Air Group by 0.4% in the 2nd quarter. CIBC Asset Management Inc now owns 11,691 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $1,049,000 after acquiring an additional 44 shares in the last quarter. MML Investors Services LLC increased its holdings in Alaska Air Group by 1.0% in the 2nd quarter. MML Investors Services LLC now owns 5,392 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $484,000 after acquiring an additional 51 shares in the last quarter. Finally, M Holdings Securities Inc. increased its holdings in Alaska Air Group by 2.1% in the 1st quarter. M Holdings Securities Inc. now owns 3,042 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $281,000 after acquiring an additional 62 shares in the last quarter. 87.48% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Alaska Air Group (NYSE:ALK) opened at 66.46 on Tuesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $8.21 billion, a PE ratio of 10.81 and a beta of 0.99. The company’s 50-day moving average is $76.43 and its 200 day moving average is $83.32. Alaska Air Group has a 1-year low of $64.77 and a 1-year high of $101.43.

Alaska Air Group (NYSE:ALK) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 25th. The transportation company reported $2.24 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $2.26 by ($0.02). The company had revenue of $2.12 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.13 billion. Alaska Air Group had a return on equity of 28.74% and a net margin of 10.34%. Alaska Air Group’s revenue was up 35.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $2.20 EPS. Equities analysts predict that Alaska Air Group will post $6.90 earnings per share for the current year.

Several research firms have weighed in on ALK. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Alaska Air Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $101.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, July 4th. Barclays PLC decreased their price target on shares of Alaska Air Group from $100.00 to $90.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, October 26th. Stifel Nicolaus decreased their price target on shares of Alaska Air Group from $125.00 to $115.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, October 26th. Deutsche Bank AG decreased their price target on shares of Alaska Air Group from $99.00 to $84.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, October 26th. Finally, Morgan Stanley decreased their price target on shares of Alaska Air Group from $103.00 to $102.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, July 17th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating, ten have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $95.58.

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Alaska Air Group Company Profile

Alaska Air Group, Inc is the holding company of Alaska Airlines (Alaska), Virgin America Inc, Horizon Air (Horizon) and other business units. The Company operates through three segments: Mainline, Regional and Horizon. Its Mainline segment includes Alaska’s and Virgin America’s scheduled air transportation for passengers and cargo throughout the United States, and in parts of Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica and Cuba.

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