Aircastle Ltd. (NYSE:AYR) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday.

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. “

A number of other equities analysts have also commented on the company. FBR & Co reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $23.00 price target on shares of Aircastle in a report on Monday, September 19th. TheStreet lowered Aircastle from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 6th. Stephens initiated coverage on Aircastle in a report on Tuesday, November 1st. They issued an “underweight” rating and a $20.00 price target for the company. Finally, DA Davidson reissued a “buy” rating and set a $24.00 price objective on shares of Aircastle in a research note on Wednesday, November 9th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $23.00.

Analyst Recommendations for Aircastle (NYSE:AYR)

Shares of Aircastle (NYSE:AYR) opened at 22.33 on Thursday. The company has a market cap of $1.76 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.24 and a beta of 1.65. Aircastle has a 52-week low of $15.06 and a 52-week high of $22.95. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $20.24 and a 200-day moving average price of $20.84.

Aircastle (NYSE:AYR) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, November 1st. The company reported $0.38 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.43 by $0.05. Aircastle had a return on equity of 8.02% and a net margin of 17.25%. The company earned $194.70 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $189.93 million. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned ($0.12) earnings per share. Aircastle’s revenue was down 8.2% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts anticipate that Aircastle will post $1.77 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 15th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, November 29th will be given a dividend of $0.26 per share. This is an increase from Aircastle’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.24. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 25th. This represents a $1.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.66%. Aircastle’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 56.80%.

In other Aircastle news, insider Joseph Schreiner sold 4,998 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $21.77, for a total transaction of $108,806.46. Following the sale, the insider now owns 35,208 shares in the company, valued at $766,478.16. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Company insiders own 2.70% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in Aircastle by 5.2% in the first quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 59,740 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,329,000 after buying an additional 2,938 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. increased its position in Aircastle by 1.3% in the first quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 1,515,900 shares of the company’s stock valued at $33,714,000 after buying an additional 18,884 shares in the last quarter. Emerald Acquisition Ltd. bought a new position in Aircastle during the second quarter valued at approximately $348,000. Blair William & Co. IL increased its position in Aircastle by 5.8% in the second quarter. Blair William & Co. IL now owns 32,872 shares of the company’s stock valued at $643,000 after buying an additional 1,805 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Advisors Asset Management Inc. increased its position in Aircastle by 30.6% in the second quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 952,580 shares of the company’s stock valued at $18,632,000 after buying an additional 223,015 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 65.38% of the company’s stock.

Aircastle Company Profile

Aircastle Limited is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in investing in aviation assets, including acquiring, leasing, managing and selling utility commercial jet aircraft. The Company operates through leasing, financing, selling and managing commercial flight equipment segment.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:AYR

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