Spirit Air Cut to Market Perform on Risk-Reward Balance

Spirit Air shares were cut to market perform at Raymond James, which sees "more compelling risk-reward elsewhere."
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Spirit Airlines  (SAVE) - Get Report shares rose in a climbing broad market, even as the discount carrier was downgraded to market perform from outperform by Raymond James analyst Savanthi Syth.

The analyst doesn’t have a price target for the stock.

Syth wrote in a report that Spirit is well placed to operate in the currently depressed flying market because of its low cost structure and its emphasis on domestic and leisure traffic.

But she sees "more compelling risk-reward elsewhere," particularly at Allegiant Air  (ALGT) - Get Report, another low-cost carrier.

"We continue to expect a slightly slower earnings recovery at Spirit relative to other domestic peers, due to its role as a 'spill' airline and still believe, in contrast to some investors, that Spirit will be able to maintain its cost advantage even if it has to"pare back operations, Syth wrote, according to MarketWatch.

Spirit ranks No. 8 among airlines in the amount of money received from the government as part of its airline bailout. 

Spirit has taken in $334.7 million under the program. American Airlines  (AAL) - Get Report is first with $5.8 billion.

Spirit shares have dropped 18% since May 6, when the company reported worse-than-expected first-quarter earnings.

The Miramar, Fla., carrier posted an adjusted loss of 86 cents a share, compared with a 46-cent loss predicted by analysts surveyed by FactSet. 

Revenue fell 10% to $771.1 million, compared with expectations of $828 million.

Spirit shares recently traded at $8.78, down 7.1%. The stock has plunged 79% over the past three months, compared with a 15% drop for the S&P 500 and a 60% descent by the U.S. Global Jets ETF  (JETS) - Get Report.