United Continental (UAL) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

United Continental (NYSE:UAL) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Thursday, November 9th.

According to Zacks, “United Continental Holdings outperformed in the third quarter of 2017. However, shares of the company plummeted following the earnings release. This was because investors were disappointed with the carrier’s lack of clarity on the conference call pertaining to its efforts to check costs and boost revenues. In addition, the company stated that it will continue to expand capacity in a bid to maintain market share at major airport hubs to deal with competition from discount carriers. Also, the decline in October load factor due to capacity overexpansion remains concerning. Meanwhile, the surge in labor and fuel costs continue to hurt the bottom line. In fact, shares of United Continental have underperformed its industry so far this year. However, we are impressed with the company's expansion and fleet modernization efforts. The company's efforts to reward shareholders also raise optimism in the stock.”

Other analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. Bank of America restated a “buy” rating and set a $105.00 price target on shares of United Continental in a report on Wednesday, July 12th. Morgan Stanley reaffirmed an “equal weight” rating and issued a $85.00 price objective (up from $80.00) on shares of United Continental in a research note on Thursday, July 13th. Citigroup reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $68.00 price objective (down from $85.00) on shares of United Continental in a research note on Thursday, September 7th. Raymond James Financial reaffirmed a “market perform” rating on shares of United Continental in a research note on Wednesday, September 20th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein reissued a “hold” rating on shares of United Continental in a research note on Monday, August 7th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have given a hold rating, six have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $77.63.

United Continental (UAL) traded up $1.10 during trading on Thursday, reaching $60.19. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 4,148,575 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,370,598. United Continental has a 1 year low of $56.51 and a 1 year high of $83.04. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.37, a quick ratio of 0.53 and a current ratio of 0.60. The company has a market capitalization of $17,606.28, a PE ratio of 8.31, a PEG ratio of 1.53 and a beta of 1.02.

United Continental (NYSE:UAL) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 18th. The transportation company reported $2.22 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.12 by $0.10. The company had revenue of $9.88 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.87 billion. United Continental had a return on equity of 25.26% and a net margin of 5.22%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down .4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $3.11 earnings per share. research analysts forecast that United Continental will post 6.33 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, Director Robert A. Milton acquired 1,000 shares of United Continental stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 24th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $58.60 per share, for a total transaction of $58,600.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 6,176 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $361,913.60. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Edward Shapiro purchased 15,000 shares of United Continental stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 15th. The shares were bought at an average price of $59.87 per share, for a total transaction of $898,050.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 27,707 shares in the company, valued at $1,658,818.09. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 0.27% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in UAL. Exane Derivatives lifted its stake in shares of United Continental by 373.7% in the 3rd quarter. Exane Derivatives now owns 1,852 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $113,000 after purchasing an additional 1,461 shares during the period. MCF Advisors LLC lifted its stake in shares of United Continental by 0.9% in the 2nd quarter. MCF Advisors LLC now owns 1,529 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $115,000 after purchasing an additional 13 shares during the period. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. purchased a new position in shares of United Continental in the 1st quarter valued at approximately $122,000. Sun Life Financial INC lifted its stake in shares of United Continental by 18,645.5% in the 2nd quarter. Sun Life Financial INC now owns 2,062 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $155,000 after purchasing an additional 2,051 shares during the period. Finally, Captrust Financial Advisors purchased a new position in shares of United Continental in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $181,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 95.92% of the company’s stock.

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United Continental Company Profile

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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