Analyst Weighs in on Airline Stocks Amid Trump's Airline Tweets

Both securities had their price targets hiked as well

Assistant Editor
Oct 7, 2020 at 10:42 AM
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Airline stocks are leading the charge in today's broad market surge. After halting talks between House Democrats and Senate Republicans regarding a national stimulus package, U.S. President Donald Trump backtracked, tweeting in support of providing $25 billion for standalone airline payroll support. In response, J.P. Morgan Securities chimed in with a series of bull notes for the airline sector. Among the lucky recipients of the upgrades and price-target hikes are JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ:JBLU) and Spirit Airlines Incorporated (NYSE:SAVE).

J.P. Morgan Securities hit JBLU with a double-upgrade, moving the shares to "overweight" from "underweight". Additionally, the firm raised its price target on the stock to $17 from $12 -- territory not charted since right before the pandemic. In response, the stock is up 6.3% to trade at $12.25, although the rally has run out of steam below its 200-day moving average.

Coming into today, analysts were a bit skeptical concerning JetBlue stock; not a surprise considering its still 35% year-to-date deficit today. In fact, nine recommend a "hold" or worse rating.

Switching gears, J.P. Morgan Securities also upgraded Spirit Airlines stock to "neutral" from "underweight" while upping its price target to $19 from $14. SAVE is up 3.1% to trade at $16.24, but remains stuck in a tight consolidation pattern between $15 and $20 for the last five months. In 2020, the shares have taken a 60% haircut.

Analysts were more divided on their stance concerning Spirit Airlines stock coming into today. Of the 12 in coverage, six called it a "strong buy," while the other six recommended a "hold" or worse. Plus, the 12-month consensus price target of $18.36 is an 11.9% premium to current levels, and nearly right in line with J.P. Morgan's recommendation. 


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