Thursday, April 2, 2009 | 8:29 a.m.
Shares of Las Vegas airline owner Allegiant Travel Co. rebounded today after the company reported it carried more passengers in March.
Allegiant, owner of Allegiant Air LLC, said that overall, it carried 548,520 passengers in March, up 18.5 percent from March 2008. It filled 88.9 percent of its seats, up 2.1 percentage points. The numbers were also strong for scheduled service, with a load factor of 92.3 percent, up from 90.8 percent in the year-ago month.
Allegiant shares traded this morning at $45.92.
The stock closed Wednesday at $44.40, down from $45.46 Tuesday, after it was downgraded by analysts at two companies.
Jesup & Lamont Inc. cut the stock to "hold'' from "buy,'' saying it was overvalued, Bloomberg News reported.
And, the Associated Press reported, a Raymond James analyst cut Allegiant to "market perform" from "outperform," even while raising the forecast for first-quarter earnings. The analyst, the AP said, reported Allegiant will face more competition to its business strategy of flying tourists from small towns to big resort destinations such as Las Vegas and Florida.
Despite the recession that has reduced visitation to Las Vegas, the stock has done well in recent months on Allegiant's success story, trading up from $15.89 in July.