Aircastle Limited (AYR) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Hold”

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Aircastle Limited (NYSE:AYR) from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Tuesday, April 18th.

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. “

Several other analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. Bank of America Corp upgraded shares of Aircastle Limited from an underperform rating to a neutral rating and boosted their price objective for the stock from $25.98 to $26.00 in a research report on Tuesday, February 28th. FBR & Co cut shares of Aircastle Limited from an outperform rating to a market perform rating and lifted their target price for the company from $23.00 to $27.50 in a report on Wednesday, February 15th. Cowen and Company cut shares of Aircastle Limited from an outperform rating to a market perform rating and boosted their price objective for the company from $23.00 to $25.00 in a research note on Wednesday, February 15th. Finally, Compass Point started coverage on shares of Aircastle Limited in a research note on Wednesday, January 4th. They issued a neutral rating and a $24.00 price objective on the stock. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Aircastle Limited has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $24.88.

Shares of Aircastle Limited (NYSE:AYR) traded up 3.71% during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $22.35. 291,616 shares of the company traded hands. Aircastle Limited has a 52 week low of $18.26 and a 52 week high of $25.98. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.76 billion, a P/E ratio of 11.18 and a beta of 1.62. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $23.05 and a 200-day moving average price of $22.60.

Aircastle Limited (NYSE:AYR) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 4th. The transportation company reported $0.58 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.58. Aircastle Limited had a net margin of 17.25% and a return on equity of 8.02%. The company had revenue of $204.30 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $204.22 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.56 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 11.2% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts anticipate that Aircastle Limited will post $2.41 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 15th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, May 31st will be paid a dividend of $0.26 per share. This represents a $1.04 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.83%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, May 26th. Aircastle Limited’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 61.54%.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Uniplan Investment Counsel Inc. boosted its position in Aircastle Limited by 1.0% in the third quarter. Uniplan Investment Counsel Inc. now owns 651,286 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $12,934,000 after buying an additional 6,506 shares during the period. Advisors Asset Management Inc. boosted its position in Aircastle Limited by 24.3% in the third quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 1,184,187 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $23,518,000 after buying an additional 231,607 shares during the period. River Road Asset Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Aircastle Limited by 16.0% in the third quarter. River Road Asset Management LLC now owns 2,115,776 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $42,019,000 after buying an additional 291,742 shares during the period. Advisors Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Aircastle Limited by 5.7% in the third quarter. Advisors Capital Management LLC now owns 693,797 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $13,779,000 after buying an additional 37,650 shares during the period. Finally, Searle & CO. purchased a new position in shares of Aircastle Limited during the fourth quarter valued at about $209,000. Institutional investors own 63.43% of the company’s stock.

Aircastle Limited Company Profile

Aircastle Limited is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, acquires, leases and sells commercial jet aircrafts to airlines. The Company is engaged in financing and managing commercial flight equipment. The Company manages its aircrafts in the United States, Ireland and Singapore. As of December 31, 2016, the Company owned and managed on behalf of its joint ventures 206 aircrafts leased to 71 lessees located in 36 countries.

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