Vetr Inc. Upgrades Alaska Air Group, Inc. (ALK) to “Strong-Buy”

Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE:ALK) was upgraded by equities research analysts at Vetr from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday. The brokerage currently has a $124.48 price target on the stock. Vetr‘s target price would indicate a potential upside of 31.28% from the company’s current price.

Other equities analysts have also issued reports about the company. Stifel Nicolaus raised Alaska Air Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their price target for the company from $105.00 to $145.00 in a research note on Monday. Zacks Investment Research raised Alaska Air Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $104.00 price target for the company in a research note on Monday, January 16th. Bank of America Corp raised Alaska Air Group from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their price target for the company from $97.00 to $110.00 in a research note on Tuesday, January 10th. Imperial Capital reaffirmed an “in-line” rating on shares of Alaska Air Group in a research note on Monday. Finally, Cowen and Company decreased their price target on Alaska Air Group from $100.00 to $95.00 and set a “market perform” rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, February 9th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, ten have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $99.61.

Analyst Recommendations for Alaska Air Group (NYSE:ALK)

Alaska Air Group (NYSE:ALK) traded up 1.56% during trading on Monday, reaching $94.82. The company had a trading volume of 1,498,802 shares. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $96.07 and a 200 day moving average price of $82.85. Alaska Air Group has a 52-week low of $54.51 and a 52-week high of $101.43. The stock has a market cap of $11.71 billion, a PE ratio of 14.50 and a beta of 0.80.

Alaska Air Group (NYSE:ALK) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 8th. The company reported $1.56 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.40 by $0.16. Alaska Air Group had a return on equity of 33.50% and a net margin of 13.72%. The business earned $1.52 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.44 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.46 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 10.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts anticipate that Alaska Air Group will post $7.97 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, March 9th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, February 21st were paid a dividend of $0.30 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, February 16th. This is a positive change from Alaska Air Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.28. This represents a $1.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.27%. Alaska Air Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 16.79%.

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In other news, VP Brandon Pedersen sold 16,781 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, March 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $98.97, for a total transaction of $1,660,815.57. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 36,734 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,635,563.98. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, VP Christopher Michael Berry sold 500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $96.62, for a total value of $48,310.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 2,425 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $234,303.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 62,003 shares of company stock valued at $5,992,112. Corporate insiders own 0.68% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD raised its stake in Alaska Air Group by 15.8% in the third quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 11,267,436 shares of the company’s stock valued at $742,073,000 after buying an additional 1,536,507 shares in the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. raised its stake in Alaska Air Group by 71.3% in the third quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 1,567,830 shares of the company’s stock valued at $103,238,000 after buying an additional 652,713 shares in the last quarter. Norges Bank bought a new stake in Alaska Air Group during the fourth quarter valued at $41,906,000. Smead Capital Management Inc. bought a new stake in Alaska Air Group during the third quarter valued at $24,125,000. Finally, AQR Capital Management LLC raised its stake in Alaska Air Group by 44.7% in the fourth quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 1,154,307 shares of the company’s stock valued at $102,422,000 after buying an additional 356,710 shares in the last quarter. 89.01% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Alaska Air Group

Alaska Air Group, Inc is a holding company of Alaska Airlines (Alaska) and Horizon Air (Horizon). The Company’s segments include Alaska Mainline, Alaska Regional and Horizon. Its Alaska Mainline segment operates the Boeing 737 part of Alaska’s business. It offers north/south service within the western United States, Canada, Mexico and Costa Rica, as well as passenger and dedicated cargo services to and within the state of Alaska.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:ALK

To view Vetr’s full report, visit Vetr’s official website.

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