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easyJet share price: Airline still interested in parts of Alitalia

easyJet (LON:EZJ) is still interested in parts of Alitalia, the group’s chief executive Johan Lundgren has told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. The comments came at this week’s Farnborough air show and follow the airline’s latest update which saw the budget carrier hike its full-year profit expectations.

easyJet’s share price has fallen into the red in London in today’s session, having given up 0.88 percent to 1,627.50p as of 10:27 BST. The group’s shares are underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having climbed marginally higher.

easyJet still interested in Alitalia

Reuters reported this morning that easyJet’s chief executive Johan Lundgren had told Corriere della Sera that the company was still interested in parts of Alitalia, but has to speak with Italy’s new government, which came into power in June, to ‘understand what they are thinking’. His comments came in response to the country’s new transport minister, Danilo Toninelli, who said earlier in the week that there was a need for 51 percent of the struggling airline to be kept in Italian hands “but with a strong investor next to it who has a mission to fly planes, because (Alitalia) needs to return to being a true flag carrier”.

Earlier this year, the FTSE 100 group submitted a revised offer for Alitalia as part of a consortium which also included Air France-KLM and Cerebrus Capital Management.        

Analyst ratings update

Kepler Capital Markets, which sees easyJet as a ‘buy,’ boosted its price target on the shares from 1,831p to 1,993p yesterday, while Numis Securities, which rates the company as a ‘hold,’ lowered its valuation on the stock from 1,838p to 1,836p. According to MarketBeat, the blue-chip group currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 1,798.52p.

As of 10:48 BST, Friday, 20 July, easyJet plc share price is 1,625.50p.

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