Air Lease (AL) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Air Lease (NYSE:AL) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Air Lease  is being aided by strong passenger traffic causing an increase in demand for planes. With the overall economy remaining buoyant, passenger traffic has been bumping up. The company has been reaping benefits of the new tax law ever since its implementation. Moreover, efforts to expand the company’s fleet encourage us. Air Lease's measures to reward shareholders in the form of dividend payments is also encouraging. The company's board recently raised the quarterly cash dividend by 30% from 10 cents per share to 13 cents. However, rising operating expenses pose a challenge and might limit bottom line growth in the fourth quarter. We are also concerned about Air Lease's high debt levels. The company's delivery delays, arising from global supply chain and production constraints due to engine issues, are also concerning. In fact, shares of the company have underperfomed its industry in the past six months.”

AL has been the subject of several other reports. Citigroup increased their price objective on Air Lease from $49.00 to $50.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 15th. ValuEngine raised Air Lease from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, August 13th. Bank of America reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $57.00 price target on shares of Air Lease in a research note on Thursday, August 16th. Morgan Stanley cut their price target on Air Lease from $47.00 to $45.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, November 14th. Finally, Seaport Global Securities began coverage on Air Lease in a research note on Wednesday, October 10th. They set a “buy” rating for the company. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating, seven have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $54.45.

NYSE:AL opened at $36.32 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.48, a current ratio of 0.80 and a quick ratio of 0.80. Air Lease has a 1-year low of $35.97 and a 1-year high of $50.70. The firm has a market capitalization of $3.86 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.95, a P/E/G ratio of 0.95 and a beta of 1.83.

Air Lease (NYSE:AL) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 8th. The transportation company reported $1.32 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.23 by $0.09. Air Lease had a return on equity of 11.44% and a net margin of 51.81%. The business had revenue of $450.70 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $443.01 million. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.50 EPS. Air Lease’s revenue for the quarter was up 19.6% on a year-over-year basis. Research analysts expect that Air Lease will post 4.61 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, EVP Grant A. Levy sold 15,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $45.13, for a total transaction of $676,950.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 153,399 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,922,896.87. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 9.32% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of AL. Advisors Asset Management Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Air Lease by 1,105.1% during the 2nd quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 37,552 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $100,000 after acquiring an additional 34,436 shares during the last quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. increased its holdings in shares of Air Lease by 2,075.2% during the 3rd quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. now owns 2,980 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $137,000 after acquiring an additional 2,843 shares during the last quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Air Lease by 224.2% during the 2nd quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 3,618 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $153,000 after acquiring an additional 2,502 shares during the last quarter. Meadow Creek Investment Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Air Lease during the 2nd quarter valued at about $173,000. Finally, Glen Harbor Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Air Lease during the 2nd quarter valued at about $210,000. 88.20% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Air Lease Company Profile

Air Lease Corporation, an aircraft leasing company, engages in the purchase and leasing of commercial jet transport aircraft to airlines worldwide. The company also sells aircraft from its operating lease portfolio to third parties, including other leasing companies, financial services companies, and airlines.

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