Delta Air Lines, Inc. (DAL) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Hold”

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Friday morning.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Delta Air Lines have struggled so far this year due to multiple headwinds. Consequently, the stock has underperformed its industry on a year-to-date basis. In the third quarter of 2017, earnings per share declined 7.6% on a year-over-year basis owing to higher costs. However, non-fuel consolidated unit cost or cost per available seat mile (CASM: normalized), including profit sharing, rose 2.6% backed by increase in wage. The metric is expected to increase in the band of 4% to 5% in the fourth quarter. We are appreciative of the company's efforts to enhance its shareholders’ wealth through dividends and share buybacks. The company's fourth-quarter view on passenger unit revenues is also encouraging. The carrier's efforts to maintain capacity discipline is an added positive. In sync with this, the rise in October load factor owing to traffic growth outpacing capacity expansion raises optimism in the stock.”

Several other analysts also recently commented on DAL. Cowen and Company boosted their target price on shares of Delta Air Lines from $58.00 to $66.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research report on Thursday, July 13th. Sanford C. Bernstein reissued an outperform rating and issued a $60.00 target price on shares of Delta Air Lines in a research report on Thursday, July 13th. Morgan Stanley reissued an overweight rating and issued a $62.00 target price (down from $63.00) on shares of Delta Air Lines in a research report on Friday, July 14th. Deutsche Bank AG restated a buy rating and issued a $62.00 price objective (up from $58.00) on shares of Delta Air Lines in a research note on Friday, July 14th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus restated a buy rating and issued a $80.00 price objective (up from $75.00) on shares of Delta Air Lines in a research note on Friday, July 14th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating, fifteen have assigned a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $64.16.

Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) traded down $0.30 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $48.89. 7,048,300 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 7,907,556. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.54, a current ratio of 0.43 and a quick ratio of 0.36. The company has a market capitalization of $35,071.15, a P/E ratio of 10.25, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.49 and a beta of 1.28. Delta Air Lines has a 12 month low of $43.81 and a 12 month high of $55.75.

Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, October 11th. The transportation company reported $1.57 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.53 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $11.06 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $11.03 billion. Delta Air Lines had a net margin of 8.97% and a return on equity of 26.50%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.70 earnings per share. sell-side analysts expect that Delta Air Lines will post 5.01 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 8th. Investors of record on Friday, November 17th will be paid a dividend of $0.305 per share. This represents a $1.22 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.50%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 16th. Delta Air Lines’s payout ratio is currently 24.50%.

In other Delta Air Lines news, Director George N. Mattson acquired 6,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 24th. The stock was bought at an average price of $45.44 per share, for a total transaction of $272,640.00. Following the purchase, the director now owns 61,510 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,795,014.40. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, EVP Joanne D. Smith sold 33,863 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, October 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.61, for a total transaction of $1,815,395.43. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 200,001 shares of company stock valued at $10,630,333. Corporate insiders own 0.37% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Roundview Capital LLC raised its stake in shares of Delta Air Lines by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. Roundview Capital LLC now owns 5,115 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $275,000 after buying an additional 15 shares in the last quarter. Patten Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Delta Air Lines by 0.3% in the 1st quarter. Patten Group Inc. now owns 9,307 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $420,000 after buying an additional 30 shares in the last quarter. Traynor Capital Management Inc. raised its stake in shares of Delta Air Lines by 1.2% in the 2nd quarter. Traynor Capital Management Inc. now owns 4,911 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $246,000 after buying an additional 58 shares in the last quarter. MUFG Securities EMEA plc raised its stake in shares of Delta Air Lines by 1.2% in the 2nd quarter. MUFG Securities EMEA plc now owns 5,307 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $285,000 after buying an additional 65 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Advisory Services Network LLC raised its stake in shares of Delta Air Lines by 3.0% in the 2nd quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 2,546 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $137,000 after buying an additional 75 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 87.61% of the company’s stock.

Delta Air Lines Company Profile

Delta Air Lines, Inc provides scheduled air transportation for passengers and cargo throughout the United States and across the world. The Company’s segments include Airline and Refinery. The Company’s route network is centered around a system of hub, international gateway and airports that the Company operates in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, London-Heathrow, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St.

Analyst Recommendations for Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL)

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