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BB&T Trims Rating on Atlas Air

BB&T downgraded its rating on Atlas Air (CGO) to light buy from strong buy.

Analyst Alex Brand thinks the tragic, untimely death of CEO Michael Chowdry in a plane crash Wednesday leaves a great deal of uncertainty about secular growth prospects for the air carrier.

Brand maintained his estimates at this time, noting that the company's near term growth outlook is intact. However, he believes Chowdry was key to the company's sales efforts, therefore, growth prospects. With less comfort about Atlas's long-term ability to continue its impressive growth record, Brand thinks the market may reassess the value it's willing to place on the company's EPS. He recommends investors take some money off the table, and wait to see how Atlas copes with the tragic loss.

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