Republic Airways' Stock Tumbles As Pilot Union Woes Increases Odds Of Restructuring

Republic Airways Holdings Inc.'s stock plunged 15% in active trade Wednesday afternoon, after Cowen and Co. downgraded the regional air carrier on concerns that the failure to reach an agreement with its pilots union increases the odds of a bankruptcy filing. Helane Becker cut her rating to underperform from market perform. She slashed her stock price target to $1, which is 63% below current levels, from $5. When the company provided its "Last, Best and Final Offer" to its pilots union last month, it said the failure to reach an agreement would lead to a "restructuring in which we no longer control our destiny." Becker said after the International Brotherhood of Teamsters decided not to allow Republic's pilots to vote on the company's offer, she believes the only option for Republic is to renegotiate its contracts with its airline partners, which include American Airlines , Delta Air Lines and United Continential , "and the only way to do that may be through the courts." The stock has plummeted 76% over the past three months, while the NYSE Arca Airline Index has dropped 12% and the S&P 500 has lost 8.2%.

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