Shares of Brazilian airline Azul (NYSE:AZUL) jumped as much as 5% higher on Friday, spurred by an analyst price boost and an optimistic outlook for air travel overseas.
Airline stocks had a difficult time during the pandemic, and Latin American carriers were hit harder than most. Azul managed to remain airborne and avoid bankruptcy, unlike some of its rivals, but the industry has been under pressure.
On Friday, Goldman Sachs analyst Bruno Amorim boosted his price target on Azul shares to $24.70, according to StreetInsider.com. Amorim in early April downgraded the stock to neutral from buy following a rally in the shares.
Azul is also likely benefiting from what is going on in the U.S., where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is scaling back recommendations for mask wearing and social distancing for those who are vaccinated. While that doesn't speak to the situation in Brazil, Azul as a New York traded company often moves on U.S. airline sentiment shifts.
U.S. airline stocks were surging higher on Friday thanks to the CDC news.
While COVID-19 cases in Brazil are down from March highs, the situation is still far from under control. Meanwhile, shares of Azul are up 265% over the past year.
Azul is one of the top investments among South American airlines, and the company should be able to ride out this crisis. However, given the uncertainty in Brazil and the stock's current valuation, some caution is advised. There is no reason to rush in to buy these shares right now.