Short Interest in Air Transport Services Group Inc. (ATSG) Grows By 47.2%

Air Transport Services Group Inc. (NASDAQ:ATSG) was the target of a large increase in short interest in March. As of March 15th, there was short interest totalling 1,724,071 shares, an increase of 47.2% from the February 28th total of 1,171,136 shares. Approximately 3.0% of the shares of the stock are short sold. Based on an average trading volume of 717,556 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 2.4 days.

ATSG stock traded up $0.12 during trading on Friday, reaching $23.73. 116,249 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 347,609. Air Transport Services Group has a twelve month low of $17.06 and a twelve month high of $25.82. The company has a market cap of $1.41 billion, a PE ratio of 18.98 and a beta of 0.95. The company has a quick ratio of 0.98, a current ratio of 1.13 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.14.

Air Transport Services Group (NASDAQ:ATSG) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, February 27th. The transportation company reported $0.36 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.33 by $0.03. Air Transport Services Group had a return on equity of 20.19% and a net margin of 7.76%. The business had revenue of $280.78 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $228.42 million. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.30 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 13.1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Air Transport Services Group will post 1.27 EPS for the current year.

In other Air Transport Services Group news, Director Raymond E. Johns, Jr. bought 1,225 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, March 20th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $20.57 per share, with a total value of $25,198.25. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 4,725 shares in the company, valued at approximately $97,193.25. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, Director Robert K. Coretz bought 25,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 18th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $20.05 per share, with a total value of $501,250.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 100,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,005,000. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have bought 38,275 shares of company stock valued at $778,477. Corporate insiders own 2.30% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. acquired a new stake in Air Transport Services Group during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $30,000. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can acquired a new stake in Air Transport Services Group during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $73,000. Amalgamated Bank acquired a new stake in Air Transport Services Group during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $201,000. Suntrust Banks Inc. acquired a new stake in Air Transport Services Group during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $226,000. Finally, Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY boosted its holdings in Air Transport Services Group by 368.5% during the fourth quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY now owns 19,330 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $441,000 after purchasing an additional 15,204 shares in the last quarter. 88.77% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Several brokerages have recently commented on ATSG. BidaskClub raised Air Transport Services Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Air Transport Services Group from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 2nd. Imperial Capital reiterated an “outperform” rating and set a $28.00 price objective (down from $31.00) on shares of Air Transport Services Group in a report on Tuesday, March 5th. ValuEngine lowered Air Transport Services Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, March 5th. Finally, Susquehanna Bancshares upgraded Air Transport Services Group from a “neutral” rating to a “positive” rating and raised their target price for the company from $21.00 to $30.00 in a report on Friday, February 8th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. Air Transport Services Group presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $27.83.

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Air Transport Services Group Company Profile

Air Transport Services Group, Inc, through its subsidiaries, operates in the airfreight and logistics industry. The company owns and leases cargo aircraft to airlines and other customers. It also provides airline operations to delivery companies, airlines, freight forwarders, and the U.S. Military, as well as operates charter agreements.

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