Alaska Air Group, Inc. (ALK) Receives “Buy” Rating from Stifel Nicolaus

Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed their buy rating on shares of Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE:ALK) in a research report report published on Friday, May 26th. The firm currently has a $145.00 target price on the transportation company’s stock.

Other equities research analysts also recently issued reports about the company. Cowen and Company raised Alaska Air Group from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and increased their price objective for the company from $102.00 to $103.00 in a report on Monday, April 24th. Morgan Stanley reissued an overweight rating and issued a $113.00 price objective on shares of Alaska Air Group in a report on Wednesday, February 22nd. Imperial Capital decreased their price objective on Alaska Air Group from $101.00 to $98.00 and set an in-line rating for the company in a report on Friday, March 31st. Vetr raised Alaska Air Group from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating and set a $124.48 price objective for the company in a report on Monday, March 20th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded Alaska Air Group from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, March 7th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eight have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $105.04.

Shares of Alaska Air Group (NYSE:ALK) traded down 1.52% during trading on Friday, hitting $89.39. 769,372 shares of the company were exchanged. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $86.59 and its 200 day moving average price is $90.78. Alaska Air Group has a 12 month low of $54.51 and a 12 month high of $101.43. The firm has a market capitalization of $11.05 billion, a PE ratio of 15.23 and a beta of 0.96.

Alaska Air Group (NYSE:ALK) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, April 26th. The transportation company reported $1.05 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.04 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $1.75 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.77 billion. Alaska Air Group had a net margin of 11.51% and a return on equity of 30.01%. The firm’s revenue was up 29.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.45 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts expect that Alaska Air Group will post $8.04 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, June 8th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, May 23rd were issued a $0.30 dividend. This represents a $1.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.34%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, May 19th. Alaska Air Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 20.41%.

In other news, SVP Joseph A. Sprague sold 7,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, June 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $90.85, for a total value of $635,950.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 7,191 shares in the company, valued at $653,302.35. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, Chairman Bradley D. Tilden sold 6,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, June 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $88.72, for a total value of $576,680.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now owns 148,446 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $13,170,129.12. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 23,800 shares of company stock valued at $2,118,591. 0.57% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in ALK. Horizon Investment Services LLC boosted its position in shares of Alaska Air Group by 4.2% in the third quarter. Horizon Investment Services LLC now owns 80,798 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $5,321,000 after buying an additional 3,235 shares in the last quarter. Panagora Asset Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of Alaska Air Group by 37.5% in the third quarter. Panagora Asset Management Inc. now owns 695,188 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $45,785,000 after buying an additional 189,586 shares in the last quarter. Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of Alaska Air Group by 30.0% in the third quarter. Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. now owns 2,600 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $171,000 after buying an additional 600 shares in the last quarter. Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board boosted its position in shares of Alaska Air Group by 33.7% in the third quarter. Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board now owns 7,519 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $495,000 after buying an additional 1,896 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Advantus Capital Management Inc boosted its stake in Alaska Air Group by 1.1% in the third quarter. Advantus Capital Management Inc now owns 12,172 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $802,000 after buying an additional 137 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 91.84% of the company’s stock.

Alaska Air Group Company Profile

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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