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    CANADIAN MANUFACTURING SALES FELL 0.4% IN OCT. VS. EST. 0.8% RISE

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Sep 20, 2017

Air Canada shares soar as analysts boost price targets

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Shares of Air Canada (AC.TO) spiked in early trading Wednesday after several analysts boosted their price targets one day after the airline mapped out new financial targets.

BMO reiterated its “outperform” rating on the stock and raised its price target for the Montreal-based airline to $34 per share, from its previous $28 target.

“Air Canada’s 2017 Investor Day portrayed a business transformation story that continues to have ample value creation runway,” Chamoun wrote in a note to clients.

RBC boosted its price outlook for the airline to $31 per share, up from $26. Analyst Walter Spracklin maintained his “Speculative Risk” rating on the stock but ranks it a “Top Pick.”

“We are increasingly of the view that the fundamentals of AC support the case for a valuation premium to U.S. peers, compared to what has been a historical discount,” Spracklin wrote in a note.



At its investor day, Air Canada said it aims to increase margins to between 17 and 20 per cent and projected free cash flow of up to $3 billion by the end of 2020. If Air Canada hits the top end of its financial goals, Chamoun reckons the share price could rise to more than $70.

Air Canada estimates it will also add between $2-2.5 billion in value once it launches its own loyalty program. In May, Air Canada served notice that it does not plan to renew its partnership with Aeroplan parent Aimia (AIM.TO) when the current contract ends. Air Canada is now looking for a credit card partner for the new program.

“By in-sourcing its loyalty program, Air Canada will be able to own the customer experience through improved engagement with customers, employees, and partners, and provide customers with greater flexibility while removing operational inefficiencies and extracting financial value,” Chamoun added.