American Airlines Group (AAL) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

American Airlines Group (NASDAQ:AAL) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday. The brokerage currently has a $56.00 price target on the airline’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price indicates a potential upside of 10.08% from the company’s current price.

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. “

Several other brokerages have also recently issued reports on AAL. BidaskClub cut American Airlines Group from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Friday, November 10th. Citigroup lifted their price objective on American Airlines Group to $65.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 11th. Bank of America upgraded American Airlines Group from an “underperform” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $64.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Tuesday, January 9th. Stephens reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $62.00 price objective on shares of American Airlines Group in a research note on Wednesday, January 10th. Finally, Buckingham Research lifted their price objective on American Airlines Group from $71.00 to $75.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, January 26th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating, eleven have issued a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $61.38.

American Airlines Group (NASDAQ AAL) traded up $0.78 during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $50.87. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 3,758,026 shares, compared to its average volume of 5,670,000. The firm has a market cap of $24,340.00, a P/E ratio of 13.01, a P/E/G ratio of 1.04 and a beta of 0.96. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 5.73, a quick ratio of 0.52 and a current ratio of 0.61. American Airlines Group has a 52 week low of $39.21 and a 52 week high of $59.08.

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

In related news, Director Matthew J. Hart sold 35,182 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on 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 owns 33,258 shares in the company, valued at $1,726,090.20. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CEO W Douglas Parker sold 224,572 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, January 2nd. The stock was 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 owns 1,925,242 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $100,728,661.44. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 306,645 shares of company stock valued at $16,027,947. 0.69% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. LSV Asset Management lifted its stake in American Airlines Group by 1.1% during the fourth quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 3,758,992 shares of the airline’s stock worth $195,580,000 after purchasing an additional 42,460 shares during the last quarter. Boston Partners lifted its stake in American Airlines Group by 3.8% during the fourth quarter. Boston Partners now owns 2,484,614 shares of the airline’s stock worth $129,274,000 after purchasing an additional 91,833 shares during the last quarter. Hosking Partners LLP lifted its stake in American Airlines Group by 0.4% during the third quarter. Hosking Partners LLP now owns 2,344,886 shares of the airline’s stock worth $111,359,000 after purchasing an additional 9,522 shares during the last quarter. Gendell Jeffrey L lifted its stake in American Airlines Group by 18.7% during the fourth quarter. Gendell Jeffrey L now owns 1,772,696 shares of the airline’s stock worth $92,233,000 after purchasing an additional 278,943 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. lifted its stake in American Airlines Group by 2.7% during the fourth quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,591,044 shares of the airline’s stock worth $82,783,000 after purchasing an additional 42,130 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 80.93% of the company’s stock.

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About American Airlines Group

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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