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American Airlines Group Inc’s (NASDAQ: AAL) strong management is likely to be put to the test by new international uncertainties and continuing RASM declines in the domestic market, Imperial Capital’s Michael Derchin said in a report. He initiated coverage of the company with an In-line rating and a price target of $40.

American Airlines was able to generate record net profit and pretax margins, while “flawlessly executing” the massive integration of AMR Corporation (NYSE: AAR) and US Airways Group Inc (NYSE: LCC), analyst Derchin noted.

No Rest For The Weary

American Airlines’ execution skills are about to be tested again by international headwinds, including Brexit, terrorism and Zika scares, as well as by domestic RASM pressure.

Related Link: Here's Why Delta Is The Best Of The Big 3 Airlines

Domestic RASM has been declining, despite it being almost a year since LUV completed the final phase of its buildup in Dallas Love Field, which was expected to ease some of the pricing pressures, Derchin mentioned.

“While AAL’s operating cash flows have been strong, AAL has an aggressive CAPEX program financed with low cost debt, which limits free cash flow yields and results in a more financially leveraged carrier than its Big 3 peers,” the analyst wrote. Apart from American Airlines, the Big 3 include United Continental Holdings Inc (NYSE: UAL) and Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE: DAL).

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Latest Ratings for AAL

Aug 2017JP MorganUpgradesNeutralOverweight
Jul 2017Cowen & Co.UpgradesMarket PerformOutperform
Jul 2017Morgan StanleyMaintainsEqual-Weight

View More Analyst Ratings for AAL
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: imperial capital Michael DerchinAnalyst Color Initiation Travel Analyst Ratings General Best of Benzinga


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