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Holly LaFon
Holly LaFon
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Baron Funds Comments on Air Lease Corp

August 23, 2012 | About:

From Baron Funds' second quarter commentary:

Air Lease Corp. (NYSE:AL) purchases commercial aircraft to lease to airlines around the world. CEO Steve Udvar-Hazy has an impeccable track record, previously running International Lease Finance Corp, the largest aircraft lessor in the world. He co-founded the aircraft leasing business in 1973, and owns a significant stake in Air Lease. AL currently has 114 modern aircraft, with 280 new airplanes on order. Aircraft manufacturers are sold-out at a time U.S. and European carriers are looking to replace their fleet with more fuel-efficient models and when emerging markets are growing, requiring more lift. Airlines continue to rely more on lessors like Air Lease to fund aircraft as lending from European banks has dried up and financing from agencies like the U.S. Export–Import Bank have become difficult. AL has 80% of its planes placed with long-term leases by 2015, and is well capitalized to finance its growth plans. The company's stock is trading below its book value which we believe is understated. (David Goldsmith)


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