Alaska Air Group, Inc. (ALK) Downgraded to Neutral at J P Morgan Chase & Co

J P Morgan Chase & Co cut shares of Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE:ALK) from an overweight rating to a neutral rating in a report released on Wednesday morning, Marketbeat Ratings reports. They currently have $74.00 target price on the transportation company’s stock.

ALK has been the subject of several other research reports. Imperial Capital reduced their price objective on shares of Alaska Air Group from $85.00 to $70.00 and set a line rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, October 26th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Alaska Air Group from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 19th. Morgan Stanley restated an overweight rating on shares of Alaska Air Group in a research report on Tuesday, September 12th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Alaska Air Group from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research report on Friday, September 1st. Finally, Bank of America Corporation reduced their price objective on shares of Alaska Air Group from $100.00 to $96.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research report on Friday, October 13th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating, nine have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $92.34.

Shares of Alaska Air Group (ALK) remained flat at $$63.65 during mid-day trading on Wednesday. 1,669,145 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 2,332,450. The stock has a market cap of $7,831.81, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.65, a PEG ratio of 1.85 and a beta of 1.01. The company has a quick ratio of 0.80, a current ratio of 0.80 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.68. Alaska Air Group has a twelve month low of $62.65 and a twelve month high of $101.43.

Alaska Air Group (NYSE:ALK) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 25th. The transportation company reported $2.24 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $2.26 by ($0.02). The company had revenue of $2.12 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.13 billion. Alaska Air Group had a return on equity of 28.74% and a net margin of 10.34%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 35.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $2.20 EPS. sell-side analysts expect that Alaska Air Group will post 6.84 earnings per share for the current year.

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The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 7th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, November 21st will be paid a $0.30 dividend. This represents a $1.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.89%. Alaska Air Group’s dividend payout ratio is currently 19.26%.

In other Alaska Air Group news, Chairman Bradley D. Tilden sold 2,400 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.83, for a total value of $205,992.00. Following the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 140,346 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $12,045,897.18. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, EVP Andrew R. Harrison sold 2,350 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $86.03, for a total transaction of $202,170.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 21,328 shares in the company, valued at $1,834,847.84. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.57% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA increased its stake in Alaska Air Group by 24.9% in the 3rd quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 126,995 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $9,686,000 after buying an additional 25,330 shares during the period. Courier Capital LLC acquired a new position in Alaska Air Group in the 3rd quarter valued at $237,000. Global X MANAGEMENT CO LLC increased its stake in Alaska Air Group by 13.3% in the 3rd quarter. Global X MANAGEMENT CO LLC now owns 7,712 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $588,000 after buying an additional 908 shares during the period. Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A. acquired a new position in Alaska Air Group in the 3rd quarter valued at $10,608,000. Finally, Hennessy Advisors Inc. increased its stake in Alaska Air Group by 4.0% in the 3rd quarter. Hennessy Advisors Inc. now owns 20,800 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $1,586,000 after buying an additional 800 shares during the period. 87.48% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Alaska Air Group

Alaska Air Group, Inc is the holding company of Alaska Airlines (Alaska), Virgin America Inc, Horizon Air (Horizon) and other business units. The Company operates through three segments: Mainline, Regional and Horizon. Its Mainline segment includes Alaska’s and Virgin America’s scheduled air transportation for passengers and cargo throughout the United States, and in parts of Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica and Cuba.

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