Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Aircastle (NYSE:AYR) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Tuesday morning.

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 AYR. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Aircastle from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a report on Friday, August 3rd. Cowen upgraded shares of Aircastle from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and lifted their target price for the company from $24.00 to $26.00 in a report on Thursday, September 27th. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Aircastle has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $24.33.

AYR stock opened at $18.92 on Tuesday. The company has a market cap of $1.45 billion, a PE ratio of 10.12, a PEG ratio of 0.76 and a beta of 1.75. Aircastle has a one year low of $17.86 and a one year high of $25.30.

Aircastle (NYSE:AYR) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, November 1st. The transportation company reported $0.49 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.43 by $0.06. Aircastle had a net margin of 25.70% and a return on equity of 10.26%. The firm had revenue of $190.80 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $192.78 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.82 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 10.5% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, analysts forecast that Aircastle will post 2.48 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 14th. Shareholders of record on Friday, November 30th will be paid a $0.30 dividend. This is an increase from Aircastle’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.28. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 29th. This represents a $1.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 6.34%. Aircastle’s payout ratio is 59.89%.

In other Aircastle news, Director Ronald Merriman sold 7,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $21.26, for a total value of $159,450.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 21,024 shares in the company, valued at $446,970.24. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Insiders own 1.80% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its stake in shares of Aircastle by 4.1% in the third quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 6,570,977 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $143,970,000 after acquiring an additional 260,928 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in shares of Aircastle by 10.8% during the third quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,857,465 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $84,518,000 after purchasing an additional 376,008 shares in the last quarter. LSV Asset Management grew its stake in shares of Aircastle by 0.5% during the third quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 3,724,255 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $81,598,000 after purchasing an additional 18,410 shares in the last quarter. Rothschild Asset Management Inc. grew its stake in shares of Aircastle by 2,004.0% during the second quarter. Rothschild Asset Management Inc. now owns 1,829,292 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $37,500,000 after purchasing an additional 1,742,350 shares in the last quarter. Finally, River Road Asset Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Aircastle by 7.8% during the third quarter. River Road Asset Management LLC now owns 1,812,739 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $39,717,000 after purchasing an additional 131,275 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 59.40% of the company’s stock.

About Aircastle

Aircastle Limited, through its subsidiaries, leases, finances, sells, and manages commercial flight equipment to airlines worldwide. The company also invests in other aviation assets. As of December 31, 2017, its aircraft portfolio comprised 236 aircraft leased to 81 lessees located in 43 countries. Aircastle Limited was founded in 2004 and is based in Stamford, Connecticut.

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