United Continental Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:UAL) Sees Large Growth in Short Interest

United Continental Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:UAL) was the recipient of a large growth in short interest during the month of July. As of July 31st, there was short interest totalling 16,507,700 shares, a growth of 21.6% from the June 30th total of 13,572,800 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 2,490,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 6.6 days. Approximately 6.2% of the shares of the stock are sold short.

Several brokerages recently weighed in on UAL. Buckingham Research increased their target price on United Continental from $111.00 to $120.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 16th. Imperial Capital restated an “underperform” rating and set a $81.00 target price (up from $78.00) on shares of United Continental in a report on Thursday, April 18th. Cowen restated a “market perform” rating and set a $99.00 target price (up from $97.00) on shares of United Continental in a report on Wednesday, April 17th. Morgan Stanley upgraded United Continental from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and increased their target price for the company from $101.00 to $110.00 in a report on Monday, May 20th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group upgraded United Continental from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $108.00 target price for the company in a report on Thursday, June 6th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $102.76.

In other news, COO Gregory L. Hart sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $93.48, for a total transaction of $467,400.00. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 17,087 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,597,292.76. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 0.40% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.



A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Lansdowne Partners UK LLP lifted its holdings in United Continental by 0.4% in the 2nd quarter. Lansdowne Partners UK LLP now owns 7,603,045 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $665,641,000 after buying an additional 29,296 shares during the period. LSV Asset Management lifted its holdings in United Continental by 6.0% in the 1st quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 4,749,499 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $378,915,000 after buying an additional 268,300 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its holdings in United Continental by 1.1% in the 4th quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 4,435,231 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $371,355,000 after buying an additional 49,211 shares during the period. Invesco Ltd. lifted its holdings in United Continental by 2.9% in the 2nd quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 4,119,055 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $360,623,000 after buying an additional 114,421 shares during the period. Finally, Diamond Hill Capital Management Inc. raised its position in shares of United Continental by 1.3% in the 1st quarter. Diamond Hill Capital Management Inc. now owns 3,659,223 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $291,933,000 after acquiring an additional 46,265 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 98.12% of the company’s stock.

NASDAQ UAL traded down $2.78 on Wednesday, hitting $81.78. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,612,909 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,918,590. United Continental has a 52-week low of $77.02 and a 52-week high of $97.85. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.76, a quick ratio of 0.49 and a current ratio of 0.55. The firm’s 50-day simple moving average is $90.21. The firm has a market capitalization of $21.14 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.96, a P/E/G ratio of 0.34 and a beta of 1.16.

United Continental (NASDAQ:UAL) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 16th. The transportation company reported $4.21 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $4.07 by $0.14. United Continental had a return on equity of 29.33% and a net margin of 6.22%. The business had revenue of $11.40 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $11.37 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $3.23 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 5.8% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, sell-side analysts anticipate that United Continental will post 11.64 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

United Continental Company Profile

United Continental Holdings, Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides air transportation services in North America, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America. It transports people and cargo through its mainline and regional operations. As of December 31, 2018, the company operated a fleet of 1,329 aircraft.

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