Air Lease (AL) Raised to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Air Lease (NYSE:AL) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Wednesday. Zacks Investment Research currently has $44.00 target price on the transportation company’s stock.

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. The positivity revolving around the stock is evident from the Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-quarter earnings being revised 3.1% upward over the last 60 days. 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.”

Several other equities research analysts have also commented on the stock. Cowen restated a buy rating and set a $54.00 target price on shares of Air Lease in a research report on Friday, November 30th. Morgan Stanley decreased their target price on shares of Air Lease from $47.00 to $45.00 and set an equal weight rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, November 14th. ValuEngine lowered shares of Air Lease from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Thursday, November 1st. Seaport Global Securities assumed coverage on shares of Air Lease in a research report on Wednesday, October 10th. They set a buy rating on the stock. Finally, Bank of America restated a buy rating and set a $57.00 target price on shares of Air Lease in a research report on Thursday, August 16th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating, seven have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Air Lease presently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $54.45.

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

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

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 9th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, December 13th will be paid a dividend of $0.13 per share. This represents a $0.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.43%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, December 12th. This is an increase from Air Lease’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.10. Air Lease’s payout ratio is 10.96%.

In other news, EVP Grant A. Levy sold 15,000 shares of Air Lease stock in a transaction on 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 transaction, the executive vice president now owns 153,399 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,922,896.87. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Insiders own 9.32% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in AL. Cannell Peter B & Co. Inc. raised its stake in Air Lease by 122.4% in the 2nd quarter. Cannell Peter B & Co. Inc. now owns 1,435,691 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $60,256,000 after purchasing an additional 790,105 shares during the last quarter. Royce & Associates LP raised its stake in Air Lease by 39.4% in the 2nd quarter. Royce & Associates LP now owns 2,411,208 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $101,198,000 after purchasing an additional 681,987 shares during the last quarter. Millennium Management LLC raised its stake in Air Lease by 206.0% in the 2nd quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 669,641 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $28,105,000 after purchasing an additional 450,809 shares during the last quarter. Capital International Investors acquired a new position in Air Lease in the 3rd quarter valued at about $18,031,000. Finally, Earnest Partners LLC raised its stake in Air Lease by 3,517,770.0% in the 2nd quarter. Earnest Partners LLC now owns 351,787 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $14,765,000 after purchasing an additional 351,777 shares during the last quarter. 88.20% of the stock is 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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