3 Reasons Spirit Airlines Incorporated (SAVE) Is Getting Rocked

Spirit Airlines Incorporated (SAVE) is down sharply on a price-target cut and a travel warning from the State Department

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Nov 24, 2015 at 11:12 AM

It's a brutal day for transportation stocks, after the U.S. State Department issued a global travel alert amid a rash of terrorist attacks. Losses in airline stocks have been further exacerbated by increasing tensions along the Syrian border, with Spirit Airlines Incorporated (NASDAQ:SAVE) among the worst performers, dropping 4.3% to $35.19.

If that's not enough, the brokerage crowd is beginning to turn on the shares. Heading into the session, 70% of analysts had rated SAVE a "strong buy," with not a single "sell" recommendation to be found. Also, the stock's consensus 12-month price target of $55.25 stands at a 57% premium to current levels. Earlier, however, Barclays slashed its price target on SAVE to $54 from $64. 

One group that shows no signs of throwing in the towel is option traders, despite the fact that SAVE has shed over half its value on a year-to-date basis. During the past 10 weeks at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), speculators have bought to open about six calls for each put. The corresponding call/put volume ratio of 6.03 arrives in the 100th annual percentile, suggesting extreme levels of optimism. Of course, if these bulls start to reconsider, Spirit Airlines Incorporated (NASDAQ:SAVE) could run into even more technical turbulence.

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