BB&T Downgrades Pinnacle Airlines

Analyst Anthony Cristello sees limited near-term growth for the low-cost airlines

BB&T Capital downgrades Pinnacle Airlines (PNCL ) to hold from buy.

Analyst Anthony Cristello says while he believes the company's low-cost model and improving balance sheet will afford it more future growth, near-term growth opportunities are somewhat limited right now without participation in jet awards from Northwest Airlines.

He notes under Northwest's new pilot agreement, it will award 40 new 50-seat jets to regional operators. Unfortunately, existing Airlink partners Pinnacle and Mesaba are prohibited from receiving any new growth. For now, he expects limited upside in Pinnacle until a clearer path for long-term growth is established.

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