Analyst Upgrades: American Airlines Group Inc, Delta Air Lines, Inc., and United Continental Holdings Inc

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings and price targets on American Airlines Group Inc (NASDAQ:AAL), Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL), and United Continental Holdings Inc (NYSE:UAL)

Nov 22, 2016 at 9:15 AM
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Imperial Capital chimed in on airline stocks American Airlines Group Inc (NASDAQ:AAL), Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL), and United Continental Holdings Inc (NYSE:UAL) amid a historically positive week for the PowerShares Dynamic Leisure & Entertainment ETF (PEJ). Here's a quick roundup of today's the brokerage firm's bullish notes on AAL, DAL, and UAL.

  • For AAL, Imperial Capital raised its price target to $49 from $43. While this represents a slim 6.3% premium to last night's close at $46.08, it stands in territory not charted since May 2015. Nevertheless, shares of American Airlines Group Inc have been soaring since taking a strong bounce off their 120-day moving average in late September -- up 35.9%, and fresh off yesterday's annual high of $46.75. AAL stock is set to extend this positive price action today, too, trading 0.8% higher ahead of the bell. Short sellers, meanwhile, have been calling it a day. Short interest on AAL dropped 5.6% in the most recent reporting period, but still accounts for 7% of the equity's float -- or 4.2 times the average daily pace of trading.

  • The brokerage firm boosted its price target on DAL to $52 from $44, representing expected upside of 7% to Monday's settlement at $48.61. The airline stock looks ready to capitalize on the upbeat analyst note, last seen 0.4% higher in electronic trading. Longer term, shares of Delta Air Lines, Inc. are up 49.1% from their late-June post-Brexit annual low at $32.60, but have more recently run out of steam near $49. Options traders have been initiating long puts relative to calls at a near-annual-high clip in recent months, too. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), DAL's 50-day put/call volume ratio of 0.67 ranks 2 percentage points from a 52-week peak.

  • Imperial Capital increased its price target on UAL to $76 from $65 (while also lowering its rating to "in-line" from "outperform"). While the brokerage firm said the stock's recent surge up the charts is due to "positive management changes, labor agreements, and improvement in close-in bookings," it noted future gains will be dependent on "how successfully management executes its plan." Ahead of the bell, the shares of United Continental Holdings Inc are down 0.7%, after closing last night at $68.99. Today's projected price move shouldn't come as too much of a surprise, though. Considering UAL is up more than 84% from its late-June lows near $37.41 -- and tagged a 12-month high of $69.29 yesterday -- its 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) settled Monday at 86, well into overbought territory. In other words, a near-term breather may be in the cards.
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