UBS Downgrades ExpressJet Holding to 'Neutral'

Analyst Robert Ashcroft said the regional air carrier exceeded his $17 one-year target

UBS Financial downgraded ExpressJet Holdings (XJT ) to neutral from buy.

Analyst Robert Ashcroft says he's downgrading ExpressJet to neutral as it recently exceeded his $17 one-year target. He says ExpressJet shares rose despite headwind from a pension-plan sale. He notes ExpressJet's Continental Airlines (CAL ) pension plan has sold over two million ExpressJet shares since Sep. 9. An additional Continental-induced sale of the company's stock is likly, Ashcroft says, now that ExpressJet is finally trading consistently over its IPO price.

Ashcroft maintains the $1.80 2003 earnings per share and $2.11 2004 earnings per share estimates, along with the $17 target.

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