Spirit Airlines, Inc. (SAVE) Lowered to Strong Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Spirit Airlines, Inc. (NASDAQ:SAVE) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Spirit Airlines have underperformed its industry in the last three months mainly due to the dispute with its pilots. Consequently, the carrier had to cancel multiple flights resulting in customer dissatisfaction. In fact, this dispute that affected second-quarter 2017 results is expected to be a drag on the company's third-quarter results as well. Meanwhile, Spirit Airlines has issued a lackluster unit revenue guidance for the third quarter. The volatile pricing environment is also a major headwind for the company. The decline in load factor recorded by the company in July remains a major concern. The carrier's efforts to modernize its fleet, however, raise optimism. The company’s efforts to reward stockholders through share buybacks are impressive.”

Other equities research analysts also recently issued reports about the company. Cowen and Company reiterated a “market perform” rating and issued a $59.00 price objective on shares of Spirit Airlines in a report on Tuesday, July 18th. Morgan Stanley reissued an “equal weight” rating and issued a $60.00 target price (down from $61.00) on shares of Spirit Airlines in a research report on Thursday, July 13th. Imperial Capital raised their target price on Spirit Airlines from $70.00 to $75.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Monday, May 1st. Bank of America Corporation cut Spirit Airlines from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and dropped their target price for the stock from $68.00 to $44.00 in a research report on Friday, July 28th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $55.00 target price (down from $75.00) on shares of Spirit Airlines in a research report on Sunday, July 30th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating, seven have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $53.54.

Spirit Airlines (NASDAQ SAVE) opened at 37.87 on Wednesday. Spirit Airlines has a one year low of $37.17 and a one year high of $60.40. The company has a 50 day moving average of $46.56 and a 200-day moving average of $51.94. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.63 billion, a P/E ratio of 10.98 and a beta of 0.57.

Spirit Airlines (NASDAQ:SAVE) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The transportation company reported $1.14 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.11 by $0.03. Spirit Airlines had a return on equity of 17.96% and a net margin of 9.62%. The company had revenue of $701.68 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $702.29 million. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.11 EPS. Spirit Airlines’s revenue for the quarter was up 20.1% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts predict that Spirit Airlines will post $3.61 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board boosted its stake in shares of Spirit Airlines by 58.4% in the first quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 44,200 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $2,346,000 after buying an additional 16,300 shares in the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its stake in shares of Spirit Airlines by 24.3% in the first quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 3,093,057 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $164,148,000 after buying an additional 604,447 shares in the last quarter. Emerald Advisers Inc. PA boosted its stake in shares of Spirit Airlines by 7.2% in the first quarter. Emerald Advisers Inc. PA now owns 613,860 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $32,578,000 after buying an additional 41,488 shares in the last quarter. Emerald Mutual Fund Advisers Trust boosted its stake in shares of Spirit Airlines by 0.6% in the first quarter. Emerald Mutual Fund Advisers Trust now owns 454,951 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $24,144,000 after buying an additional 2,504 shares in the last quarter. Finally, NJ State Employees Deferred Compensation Plan purchased a new stake in shares of Spirit Airlines during the first quarter valued at $371,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 98.47% of the company’s stock.

Spirit Airlines Company Profile

Spirit Airlines, Inc is an airline company. The Company provides air transportation for passengers. As of December 31, 2016, its all-Airbus Fit Fleet operated over 420 daily flights to 59 destinations in the United States, Caribbean and Latin America. As of December 31, 2016, it had a fleet of 95 Airbus single-aisle aircraft, which are referred to as A320 family aircraft and include the A319, A320 and A321 models, which have common design and equipment but differ most notably in fuselage length, service range and seat capacity.

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