CFRA reiterated its sell rating on Spirit Airlines Inc. (NYSE: SAVE) on Tuesday and expressed skepticism about JetBlue Airways Corp.’s (NASDAQ: JBLU) recent move to transfer its Spirit holdings at Boston and Newark airports. The transfer was seen as an attempt to salvage JetBlue’s effort to merge with Spirit.
JetBlue’s Transfer to Allegiant Travel Co.
JetBlue agreed to transfer to Allegiant Travel Co. (NASDAQ: ALGT) the two gates it held at each airport, as well as the rights for 43 takeoff and landing slots at Newark. Additionally, the discount carrier decided to give up five gates and related ground facilities at Fort Lauderdale to Allegiant.
CFRA analyst Jonnathan Handshoe expressed doubt that JetBlue’s actions would be enough to save the deal, particularly considering the Biden Administration’s strong opposition to the merger of JetBlue and Spirit. In a note to clients, Handshoe wrote, “Given that the Biden Administration is adamant against the merger of JBLU/SAVE, we believe the recent announcement could do very little to save the deal.”
Stock Price Target
The analyst is maintaining his 12-month stock price target of $15 for Spirit Airlines. The stock closed at $17.48 on Monday.