Zacks Investment Research Lowers SkyWest, Inc. (SKYW) to Hold

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of SkyWest, Inc. (NASDAQ:SKYW) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “SkyWest, Inc., through its wholly-owned subsidiary, SkyWest Airlines, Inc. , operates one of the larger regional airlines in the United States. SkyWest provides passenger and air freight service and completes over 880 daily flights. Pursuant to a joint marketing and code sharing agreement with Delta Airlines, Inc., SkyWest operates as a Delta Connection in certain SkyWest markets. SkyWest entered into a marketing and code sharing agreement with Continental Airlines, Inc. Which allows SkyWest to operate as a Continental Connection in certain markets in and out of Los Angeles. “

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports on the stock. TheStreet cut shares of SkyWest from a b+ rating to a c+ rating in a report on Thursday, February 2nd. Cowen and Company upped their price target on shares of SkyWest from $34.00 to $40.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a report on Thursday, December 15th. Finally, Evercore ISI cut shares of SkyWest from a buy rating to a hold rating and upped their price target for the company from $25.00 to $37.00 in a report on Tuesday, December 6th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $35.20.

SkyWest (NASDAQ:SKYW) opened at 35.85 on Wednesday. The stock’s market capitalization is $1.86 billion. SkyWest has a 1-year low of $18.46 and a 1-year high of $39.60. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $35.48 and its 200 day moving average is $33.36.

SkyWest (NASDAQ:SKYW) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 2nd. The company reported $0.54 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.52 by $0.02. The firm earned $758.02 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $754.18 million. SkyWest had a negative net margin of 5.18% and a positive return on equity of 9.35%. SkyWest’s revenue for the quarter was up .7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.49 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that SkyWest will post $3.09 earnings per share for the current year.

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The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, April 6th. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 31st will be issued a dividend of $0.08 per share. This represents a $0.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.89%. This is a boost from SkyWest’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.05. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 29th. SkyWest’s dividend payout ratio is -6.37%.

In other SkyWest news, COO Michael B. Thompson sold 4,700 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $35.32, for a total transaction of $166,004.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Eric Woodward sold 6,330 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, March 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $35.24, for a total transaction of $223,069.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 19,081 shares of company stock valued at $675,689 over the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 4.00% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in SKYW. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted its stake in SkyWest by 58.4% in the third quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 1,181,750 shares of the company’s stock worth $31,210,000 after buying an additional 435,713 shares during the period. Renaissance Technologies LLC boosted its stake in SkyWest by 44.7% in the fourth quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 994,100 shares of the company’s stock worth $36,235,000 after buying an additional 307,100 shares during the period. BlackRock Fund Advisors boosted its stake in SkyWest by 9.0% in the third quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 3,602,779 shares of the company’s stock worth $95,149,000 after buying an additional 296,968 shares during the period. Russell Investments Group Ltd. purchased a new stake in SkyWest during the fourth quarter worth about $10,651,000. Finally, State Street Corp boosted its stake in SkyWest by 9.3% in the fourth quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,282,438 shares of the company’s stock worth $46,749,000 after buying an additional 109,346 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 87.19% of the company’s stock.

About SkyWest

Skywest, Inc is a holding company for approximately two scheduled passenger airline operations and an aircraft leasing company. The Company operates through two segments: SkyWest Airlines and ExpressJet. SkyWest Airlines provides regional jet and turboprop service to airports located in the Midwestern and Western United States.

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