Ahead of the Bell: Vail Resorts

Credit Suisse analyst cuts rating for Vail Resorts to "Neutral," citing share-price growth

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- A Credit Suisse analyst on Monday downgraded Vail Resorts Inc. to "Neutral" from "Outperform," citing the recent run up in the ski company's stock price.

Joel Simkins, who also cut his price target for the stock by $4 to $64, noted that the Broomfield, Colo., company's shares have risen 44 percent over the past 12 months and 13 percent since the start of this year, significantly outpacing the overall market.

"Vail is well-run with a strong balance sheet, good free cash flow, high quality assets, and long-term pricing power," Simkins wrote in a note to investors. "However, shares look fairly valued at recent levels, and we see a lack of catalysts as the core season winds down."

But the analyst noted that despite two consecutive winters with lackluster snowfalls, along with price increases, attendance at Vail's properties has been strong, showing that its customers are willing to spend money on skiing. He added that the company's continued reinvestment back into its products and experience should allow it to continue to increase prices.

Vail spokeswoman Kelly Ladyga declined comment on the report.

Vail shares fell 57 cents to $60.59 in morning trading. They have traded in a 52-week range of $39.94 to $64.33.

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