United Continental (UAL) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Buy”

United Continental (NYSE:UAL) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Tuesday. The firm presently has a $72.00 price objective on the transportation company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective indicates a potential upside of 10.23% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Shares of United Continental have outperformed its industry in the last three months. The stock rallied 12.1% against the industry's gain of 8.1% in the period. Ushering in further good news, the company reported better-than-expected earnings and revenues in the fourth quarter of 2017. The top line also increased substantillay year over year. Strong demand for air travel aided the top line. We are also impressed by the company's efforts to reward its shareholders. The company has repurchased stock worth $553 million in the final quarter of 2017. The company's effoorts to expand operations are a further positive. However, high costs hurt the company's bottom line in the fourth quarter. We are also concerned about capacity overexpansion woes at United Continental. “

UAL has been the topic of a number of other reports. Imperial Capital reduced their price target on United Continental from $63.00 to $57.00 and set an “in-line” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, October 20th. Buckingham Research upped their price target on United Continental from $83.00 to $88.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 24th. Evercore ISI downgraded United Continental from an “outperform” rating to an “in-line” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 24th. TheStreet raised United Continental from a “c+” rating to a “b” rating in a research report on Thursday, December 7th. Finally, ValuEngine raised United Continental from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Friday, December 1st. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $82.87.

United Continental (NYSE:UAL) traded up $1.18 during trading on Tuesday, reaching $65.32. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,353,231 shares, compared to its average volume of 5,865,230. The stock has a market capitalization of $18,990.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.21 and a beta of 1.02. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.37, a quick ratio of 0.53 and a current ratio of 0.60. United Continental has a one year low of $56.51 and a one year high of $83.04.

United Continental (NYSE:UAL) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, January 23rd. The transportation company reported $1.40 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.95 by $0.45. The business had revenue of $9.44 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.41 billion. United Continental had a return on equity of 23.43% and a net margin of 5.65%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 4.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.78 earnings per share. research analysts anticipate that United Continental will post 7.43 earnings per share for the current year.

United Continental declared that its board has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, December 7th that permits the company to repurchase $3.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the transportation company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are often an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. boosted its holdings in United Continental by 9.4% in the second quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. now owns 5,889 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $443,000 after purchasing an additional 508 shares during the last quarter. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC boosted its holdings in United Continental by 2.5% in the fourth quarter. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC now owns 31,567 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $2,128,000 after purchasing an additional 780 shares during the last quarter. M&T Bank Corp boosted its holdings in United Continental by 3.8% in the fourth quarter. M&T Bank Corp now owns 21,539 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $1,453,000 after purchasing an additional 786 shares during the last quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in United Continental by 10.4% in the third quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC now owns 8,976 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $546,000 after purchasing an additional 848 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Hennessy Advisors Inc. boosted its holdings in United Continental by 3.7% in the third quarter. Hennessy Advisors Inc. now owns 28,200 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $1,717,000 after purchasing an additional 1,000 shares during the last quarter. 94.21% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About United Continental

United Continental Holdings, Inc (UAL) is a holding company and its principal subsidiary is United Air Lines, Inc (United). The Company transports people and cargo through its mainline operations. It has global air rights in North America, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America. The Company, through United and its regional carriers, operates flights from its hubs at Newark Liberty International Airport (Newark Liberty), Chicago O’Hare International Airport (Chicago O’Hare), Denver International Airport (Denver), George Bush Intercontinental Airport (Houston Bush), Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), A.B.

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