Cannacord Genuity lifts easyJet to a 'hold' after management raises guidance
Analysts at Cannacord Genuity raised their recommendation on shares of easyJet from 'sell' to 'hold', arguing that better-than-expected Summer 2017 trading would provide greater-than-expected lift for the shares.
The budget carrier's revenues per share fell by 1.4% over the summer, but that was better than the 2% drag they had penciled in, which meant profits before tax were now likely to come in towards £405m to $410m, as per management's revised guidance, versus a previous view for between £380m to £420m.
Greater competition was still expected to prove a headwind for the firm's profit recovery versus the lofty levels reached a couple of years ago, although easyJet's own capacity growth deceleration in 2017/18 would act as a partial offset, they said.
All told, Cannacord raised its target price for the stock from 1,150p to 1,200p, yet with less than 10% downside potential remaining it upgraded its view on the shares.
The Canadian broker also upped its forecasts for earnings per share for 2016/17 by 6.2% to 84.0p, on the back of which it also nudged up its estimate for the company's dividend per share from 36.7p to 38.9p.