Alaska Air Group Inc. (NYSE:ALK) shares gapped up prior to trading on Wednesday . The stock had previously closed at $66.10, but opened at $66.53. Alaska Air Group shares last traded at $67.54, with a volume of 1,007,852 shares trading hands.

A number of brokerages have recently issued reports on ALK. Vetr raised Alaska Air Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $88.50 price objective on the stock in a research note on Monday, April 25th. Bank of America Corp. raised Alaska Air Group from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 5th. Morgan Stanley reissued an “overweight” rating on shares of Alaska Air Group in a research note on Tuesday, April 5th. Credit Suisse Group AG reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Alaska Air Group in a research note on Thursday, April 7th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised Alaska Air Group from an “underweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and boosted their price objective for the company from $77.00 to $82.00 in a research note on Monday, April 4th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating, nine have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $89.00.

The firm has a market capitalization of $8.35 billion and a P/E ratio of 9.40. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $61.83 and its 200-day moving average is $70.17.

Alaska Air Group (NYSE:ALK) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, July 21st. The company reported $2.12 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.09 by $0.03. The business earned $1.49 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.50 billion. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.76 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Alaska Air Group Inc. will post $7.07 EPS for the current year.

In related news, CEO Bradley D. Tilden sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $66.39, for a total value of $331,950.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 23,900 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,586,721. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CEO Bradley D. Tilden sold 4,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $63.84, for a total transaction of $255,360.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 23,900 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,525,776. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Other hedge funds recently modified their holdings of the company. ProShare Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of Alaska Air Group by 12.8% in the fourth quarter. ProShare Advisors LLC now owns 12,525 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,008,000 after buying an additional 1,420 shares during the period. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Alaska Air Group during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $1,070,000. Airain ltd bought a new stake in shares of Alaska Air Group during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $1,328,000. US Bancorp DE raised its stake in shares of Alaska Air Group by 28.9% in the fourth quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 17,867 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,438,000 after buying an additional 4,011 shares during the period. Finally, EQIS Capital Management raised its stake in shares of Alaska Air Group by 214.1% in the fourth quarter. EQIS Capital Management now owns 18,992 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,529,000 after buying an additional 12,946 shares during the period.

Alaska Air Group, Inc is the holding company of Alaska Airlines (Alaska) and Horizon Air (Horizon). The Company operates through three segments: Alaska Mainline, Alaska Regional and Horizon. Its Alaska Mainline segment operates the Boeing 737 part of Alaska’s business. It offers north/south service within the western United States, Canada, Mexico and Costa Rica, as well as passenger and dedicated cargo services to and within the state of Alaska.

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