JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ:JBLU) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of JetBlue Airways have underperformed its industry so far this year. The stock has also been plagued by multiple challenges of late. Adding to its woes, the carrier's eanings in third quarter declined year over year due to high costs. The recent hurricanes also hurt results. In fact the hurricanes might hurt results in the fourth quarter as well. Operating expenses too increased significantly in the quarter with fuel expenses increasing a massive 18.3%. The persistent rise in fuel and labor costs have the potential to hurt results going forward. However, the carrier's revenues in third quarter increased 4.7%, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,809.3 million. Passenger revenues improved 3.3% in the quarter. We are impressed by the carrier's efforts to expand its popular Mint service. Efforts to bring down its debt levels also please us.”

Several other research firms have also issued reports on JBLU. Buckingham Research lowered shares of JetBlue Airways Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and reduced their price objective for the company from $28.00 to $24.00 in a research note on Wednesday, July 26th. Cowen and Company reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of JetBlue Airways Corporation in a research note on Friday, September 1st. Deutsche Bank AG lifted their price objective on shares of JetBlue Airways Corporation from $26.00 to $27.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 25th. Macquarie started coverage on shares of JetBlue Airways Corporation in a research note on Monday, September 25th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $21.00 price objective for the company. Finally, BidaskClub lowered shares of JetBlue Airways Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, August 11th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating, six have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $25.02.

Shares of JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ JBLU) traded up $0.68 during trading hours on Wednesday, hitting $19.63. 5,332,100 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 5,937,264. The firm has a market cap of $6,076.26, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.77 and a beta of 0.65. JetBlue Airways Corporation has a 52 week low of $18.05 and a 52 week high of $24.13. The company has a quick ratio of 0.56, a current ratio of 0.56 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.25.

JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ:JBLU) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 24th. The transportation company reported $0.55 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.52 by $0.03. JetBlue Airways Corporation had a net margin of 9.38% and a return on equity of 15.95%. The business had revenue of $1.81 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.81 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.58 EPS. JetBlue Airways Corporation’s quarterly revenue was up 4.7% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts expect that JetBlue Airways Corporation will post 1.73 earnings per share for the current year.

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In other JetBlue Airways Corporation news, EVP George Martin J. St sold 2,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $18.79, for a total transaction of $46,975.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Joel Clinton Peterson sold 5,120 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $18.96, for a total transaction of $97,075.20. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 539,702 shares in the company, valued at $10,232,749.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 24,860 shares of company stock worth $474,419. 0.60% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its stake in JetBlue Airways Corporation by 7.8% during the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 28,930,739 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $596,262,000 after buying an additional 2,085,912 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in shares of JetBlue Airways Corporation by 13,299.6% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 27,408,463 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $564,889,000 after purchasing an additional 27,203,916 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC lifted its position in shares of JetBlue Airways Corporation by 2.2% during the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 19,075,077 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $435,484,000 after purchasing an additional 404,086 shares in the last quarter. Eagle Asset Management lifted its position in shares of JetBlue Airways Corporation by 53.1% during the third quarter. Eagle Asset Management now owns 12,761,244 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $328,856,000 after purchasing an additional 4,427,475 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Fund Advisors lifted its position in shares of JetBlue Airways Corporation by 5.8% during the third quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 12,622,832 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $217,618,000 after purchasing an additional 694,834 shares in the last quarter. 85.19% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About JetBlue Airways Corporation

JetBlue Airways Corporation is a passenger carrier company. The Company provides air transportation services across the United States, the Caribbean and Latin America. Its segments include Domestic, and Caribbean & Latin America. It operates various kinds of aircrafts, including Airbus A321, Airbus A320 and Embraer E190.

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