Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Alaska Air Group (NYSE:ALK) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report released on Tuesday.
According to Zacks, “Shares of Alaska Air Group have underperformed its industry in a year's time. Adding to its woes, the company’s load factor in February declined as capacity expansion outweighed traffic growth. The metric declined in January as well. Moreover, high labor and fuel costs affected the company’s bottom line. Apart from high labor and fuel costs, expenses related to the acquisition of Virgin America are limiting bottom-line growth. The company's below-par performance with respect to unit revenues also remains a concern. In fact, the pessimism surrounding the company is further evident from the Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings being revised 12.9% downward in the last 60 days. We are, however, impressed by the company’s efforts to reward shareholders through dividends and buybacks. “
Several other research firms have also recently weighed in on ALK. Buckingham Research lowered their price target on Alaska Air Group from $90.00 to $88.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a report on Friday, January 26th. Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $105.00 price target (down previously from $115.00) on shares of Alaska Air Group in a report on Wednesday, January 10th. Standpoint Research started coverage on Alaska Air Group in a report on Monday, December 18th. They issued a buy rating and a $90.00 price target on the stock. Imperial Capital reaffirmed an in-line rating and issued a $66.00 price target (down previously from $70.00) on shares of Alaska Air Group in a report on Thursday, February 1st. Finally, Barclays cut Alaska Air Group from an overweight rating to an equal weight rating and lowered their price target for the company from $90.00 to $80.00 in a report on Wednesday, January 10th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating, eight have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $84.69.
Shares of Alaska Air Group (NYSE:ALK) opened at $65.19 on Tuesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $8,007.08, a PE ratio of 9.82, a P/E/G ratio of 1.00 and a beta of 0.84. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61, a quick ratio of 0.77 and a current ratio of 0.79. Alaska Air Group has a 1-year low of $59.25 and a 1-year high of $97.06.
Alaska Air Group (NYSE:ALK) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 25th. The transportation company reported $0.83 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $0.83. Alaska Air Group had a return on equity of 24.39% and a net margin of 12.96%. The firm had revenue of $1.96 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.96 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.56 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 28.7% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts expect that Alaska Air Group will post 5.72 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, March 8th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, February 20th were given a dividend of $0.32 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, February 16th. This is a positive change from Alaska Air Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.30. This represents a $1.28 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.96%. Alaska Air Group’s dividend payout ratio is 15.46%.
In other news, VP Christopher Michael Berry sold 460 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, February 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $97.00, for a total transaction of $44,620.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 1,997 shares in the company, valued at approximately $193,709. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CEO Gary L. Beck sold 6,360 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.10, for a total value of $414,036.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 3,316 shares in the company, valued at $215,871.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 13,373 shares of company stock worth $884,697 over the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 0.57% of the company’s stock.
Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Palladium Partners LLC increased its position in shares of Alaska Air Group by 11.7% during the 4th quarter. Palladium Partners LLC now owns 7,980 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $587,000 after purchasing an additional 835 shares during the last quarter. Commerce Bank increased its position in shares of Alaska Air Group by 19.4% during the 4th quarter. Commerce Bank now owns 5,197 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $382,000 after purchasing an additional 843 shares during the last quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS grew its position in Alaska Air Group by 9.4% during the 3rd quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS now owns 10,046 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $766,000 after acquiring an additional 863 shares during the last quarter. Comerica Bank grew its position in Alaska Air Group by 2.9% during the 3rd quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 30,897 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $2,053,000 after acquiring an additional 867 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co. Ltd. grew its position in Alaska Air Group by 55.3% during the 4th quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 2,495 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $186,000 after acquiring an additional 888 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 86.32% of the company’s stock.
About Alaska Air Group
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.
Receive News & Ratings for Alaska Air Group Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Alaska Air Group and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.