Spirit Airlines, Inc. (NASDAQ:SAVE) Lifted to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Spirit Airlines, Inc. (NASDAQ:SAVE) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Friday, November 10th.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Spirit Airlines have underperformed its industry on a year-to-date basis due to multiple headwinds including the recent hurricanes. The carrier performed impressively in the third quarter of 2017, despite disruptions caused by the hurricanes, reporting better-than-expected earnings per share and revenues. The bottom line however, plunged 24.2% on a year-over-year basis, due to high costs. The decrease in load factor in the third quarter of 2017, due to capacity overexpansion, is an added concern. Spirit Airlines' guidance for fourth-quarter TRASM is also disappointing. The carrier's efforts to modernize its fleet, however, raise optimism. Efforts to reward stockholders through share buybacks are impressive.”

A number of other research analysts also recently issued reports on the company. J P Morgan Chase & Co downgraded Spirit Airlines from a “neutral” rating to an “underweight” rating and set a $39.00 price target for the company. in a report on Wednesday, November 1st. Buckingham Research boosted their price target on Spirit Airlines from $31.00 to $37.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, October 27th. Citigroup Inc. boosted their price target on Spirit Airlines from $48.00 to $50.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, October 27th. Cowen and Company upped their target price on Spirit Airlines from $37.00 to $40.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Finally, Imperial Capital reaffirmed an “in-line” rating and set a $36.00 target price (up from $32.00) on shares of Spirit Airlines in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Spirit Airlines currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $41.00.

Shares of Spirit Airlines (SAVE) traded up $1.04 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $37.39. The company had a trading volume of 965,940 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,422,517. The stock has a market capitalization of $2,520.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.83, a P/E/G ratio of 1.48 and a beta of 0.71. Spirit Airlines has a 52-week low of $30.32 and a 52-week high of $60.40. The company has a current ratio of 1.88, a quick ratio of 1.88 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.77.

Spirit Airlines (NASDAQ:SAVE) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The transportation company reported $0.94 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.90 by $0.04. Spirit Airlines had a return on equity of 15.86% and a net margin of 8.55%. The firm had revenue of $687.20 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $686.13 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.24 earnings per share. Spirit Airlines’s revenue for the quarter was up 10.6% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts anticipate that Spirit Airlines will post 3.08 earnings per share for the current year.

Spirit Airlines declared that its board has authorized a share repurchase program on Thursday, October 26th that allows the company to buyback $100.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization allows the transportation company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are often an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

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In other Spirit Airlines news, Director H. Mcintyre Gardner purchased 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 15th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $33.78 per share, for a total transaction of $168,900.00. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 0.33% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in SAVE. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in Spirit Airlines by 7,002.6% during the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,691,469 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $142,838,000 after acquiring an additional 2,653,575 shares in the last quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group lifted its stake in Spirit Airlines by 67.2% during the 3rd quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 1,319,480 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $44,242,000 after acquiring an additional 530,281 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its stake in Spirit Airlines by 29.2% during the 3rd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,930,412 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $64,495,000 after acquiring an additional 436,012 shares in the last quarter. Calamos Advisors LLC lifted its stake in Spirit Airlines by 107.0% during the 3rd quarter. Calamos Advisors LLC now owns 699,240 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $23,362,000 after acquiring an additional 361,478 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Hodges Capital Management Inc. acquired a new position in Spirit Airlines during the 2nd quarter worth about $16,711,000.

About Spirit Airlines

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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