United Continental (NYSE:UAL) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Tuesday.
According to Zacks, “Shares of United Continental have outperformed its industry in the last three months. The stock rallied 14% against the industry's gain of 5.4% in the period. The carrier seems to benefit from robust growth in passenger revenues backed by strong demand for air travel. This is further highlighted in the company's impressive February traffic report. Additionally, its projection on unit revenues for the first quarter of 2018 is encouraging.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. “
Several other analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Bank of America set a $83.00 price objective on shares of United Continental and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 6th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of United Continental from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, March 1st. Morgan Stanley reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $74.00 price objective (up previously from $71.00) on shares of United Continental in a research note on Friday, February 23rd. Sanford C. Bernstein upgraded shares of United Continental from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 31st. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded shares of United Continental from an “underweight” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $83.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Tuesday, January 30th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating, nine have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $83.03.
United Continental (NYSE:UAL) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, January 23rd. The transportation company reported $1.40 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.95 by $0.45. United Continental had a net margin of 5.65% and a return on equity of 23.40%. The firm had revenue of $9.44 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.41 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.78 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.3% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts forecast that United Continental will post 7.52 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
United Continental declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase program on Thursday, December 7th that allows the company to buyback $3.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the transportation company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are usually an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.
Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Advisors Preferred LLC raised its position in United Continental by 1,100.8% during the fourth quarter. Advisors Preferred LLC now owns 1,513 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $102,000 after acquiring an additional 1,387 shares during the last quarter. Focused Wealth Management Inc acquired a new position in shares of United Continental in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $135,000. Deltec Asset Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of United Continental in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $203,000. Beach Investment Counsel Inc. PA acquired a new position in shares of United Continental in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $204,000. Finally, Wetherby Asset Management Inc. acquired a new position in shares of United Continental in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $208,000. Institutional investors own 97.22% of the company’s stock.
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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