American Airlines' Stock Rallies After Cowen Raises Rating, Price Target

By Tomi Kilgore Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Shares of American Airlines Group Inc. climbed 1.2% in premarket trade Monday, after Cowen & Co. turned bullish on the air carrier, citing a "compelling" earnings outlook for the next year. Analyst Helane Becker raised her rating to outperform after being at market perform since Jan. 4. She raised her stock price target to $57, which is 13% above Friday's closing price of $50.49, from $55. "We are upgrading the shares based on the view that American will drive pre-tax income higher heading into 2018 with product segmentation and a more stable cost structure," Becker wrote in a note to clients. "We believe American is less impacted by fare battles between United [Continental Holdings] and Spirit [Airlines] and believe the September investor day is a catalyst to drive the shares higher." The stock has rallied 8.1% year to date through Friday, while the NYSE Arca Airline Index has edged up 0.7% and the S&P 500 has gained 10.4%.

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