Zacks Investment Research Lowers Aircastle (AYR) to Hold

Aircastle (NYSE:AYR) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “AIRCASTLE LTD are a global company that acquires and leases high utility commercial jet aircraft to passenger and cargo airlines throughout the world. High utility aircraft are generally modern, operationally efficient jets with a large operator base and long useful lives. They also make investments in other aviation assets, including debt securities secured by commercial jet aircraft. “

Other analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. ValuEngine upgraded Aircastle from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, August 17th. Cowen upgraded Aircastle from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and upped their target price for the company from $24.00 to $26.00 in a report on Thursday, September 27th. Eight analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $24.71.

NYSE AYR traded up $0.15 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $19.15. The stock had a trading volume of 295,565 shares, compared to its average volume of 410,535. Aircastle has a twelve month low of $18.66 and a twelve month high of $25.30. The company has a market cap of $1.49 billion, a P/E ratio of 10.24, a P/E/G ratio of 0.85 and a beta of 1.79.

Aircastle (NYSE:AYR) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 7th. The transportation company reported $0.67 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.53 by $0.14. Aircastle had a return on equity of 11.70% and a net margin of 28.40%. The firm had revenue of $204.28 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $194.60 million. On average, research analysts predict that Aircastle will post 2.25 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director Ronald Merriman sold 7,500 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $21.26, for a total transaction of $159,450.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 21,024 shares in the company, valued at approximately $446,970.24. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 1.80% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in AYR. Millennium Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Aircastle by 62.8% during the 1st quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 119,079 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $2,365,000 after purchasing an additional 45,913 shares during the period. Royal Bank of Canada grew its holdings in shares of Aircastle by 12.4% during the 1st quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 151,831 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $3,016,000 after purchasing an additional 16,760 shares during the period. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB purchased a new position in shares of Aircastle during the 1st quarter worth $357,000. FormulaFolio Investments LLC purchased a new position in shares of Aircastle during the 2nd quarter worth $468,000. Finally, Fox Run Management L.L.C. purchased a new position in shares of Aircastle during the 2nd quarter worth $573,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 57.76% of the company’s stock.

Aircastle Company Profile

Aircastle Limited, through its subsidiaries, leases, finances, sells, and manages commercial flight equipment to airlines worldwide. The company also invests in other aviation assets. As of December 31, 2017, its aircraft portfolio comprised 236 aircraft leased to 81 lessees located in 43 countries. Aircastle Limited was founded in 2004 and is based in Stamford, Connecticut.

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