Delta Air Lines (DAL) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Tuesday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Delta have outperformed its industry in a year's time. Solid demand for air travel has led to an uptick in passenger revenues, which account for bulk of the company's top line. As an evidence, Delta’s passenger count rose 6.6% in April 2019. Delta expects current-year top line to increase in the 5-7% range mainly owing to upbeat passenger revenues. Additionally, the company's efforts to reward its shareholders through dividends and buybacks are impressive. Delta has returned in excess of $12 billion to its shareholders over the past five years.  However, technological glitches have lately been hampering Delta's operations and profitability. Additionally, the uptick in fuel prices might hamper Delta's bottom-line growth in the second quarter. The company anticipates economic fuel cost per gallon between $2.10 and $2.20 in the second quarter, higher than $2.05 reported in the first quarter of 2019.”

Several other equities analysts have also issued reports on DAL. Bank of America lowered Delta Air Lines from a buy rating to a neutral rating and cut their price target for the company from $62.00 to $51.00 in a research note on Monday, January 14th. Credit Suisse Group set a $67.00 price target on Delta Air Lines and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 16th. Vertical Research started coverage on Delta Air Lines in a research note on Monday, February 4th. They set a hold rating on the stock. Deutsche Bank lowered Delta Air Lines from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $49.58 price target on the stock. in a research note on Friday, March 1st. Finally, Cowen upped their price target on Delta Air Lines from $62.00 to $67.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 2nd. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Delta Air Lines currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $66.09.

Shares of DAL opened at $54.89 on Tuesday. The company has a current ratio of 0.34, a quick ratio of 0.29 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.05. Delta Air Lines has a 12-month low of $45.08 and a 12-month high of $61.32. The firm has a market cap of $35.95 billion, a PE ratio of 9.72, a PEG ratio of 0.67 and a beta of 1.13.

Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, April 10th. The transportation company reported $0.96 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.90 by $0.06. Delta Air Lines had a return on equity of 30.10% and a net margin of 9.09%. The business had revenue of $10.47 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.39 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.74 earnings per share. Research analysts anticipate that Delta Air Lines will post 6.65 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, May 23rd. Shareholders of record on Thursday, May 2nd will be paid a $0.35 dividend. This represents a $1.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.55%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, May 1st. Delta Air Lines’s payout ratio is 24.78%.

In other news, CEO Edward H. Bastian sold 30,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, April 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.50, for a total transaction of $1,725,000.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 354,191 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $20,365,982.50. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, COO W Gilbert West sold 7,465 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, April 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $58.52, for a total value of $436,851.80. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 94,933 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,555,479.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders acquired 3,554,538 shares of company stock worth $175,828,075 and sold 145,901 shares worth $8,125,848. Corporate insiders own 0.47% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Usca Ria LLC raised its position in shares of Delta Air Lines by 3.7% during the fourth quarter. Usca Ria LLC now owns 26,577 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $1,326,000 after purchasing an additional 950 shares during the period. South Texas Money Management Ltd. grew its holdings in shares of Delta Air Lines by 5.8% during the fourth quarter. South Texas Money Management Ltd. now owns 652,197 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $32,545,000 after buying an additional 35,740 shares in the last quarter. Northern Oak Wealth Management Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Delta Air Lines by 4,597.8% during the fourth quarter. Northern Oak Wealth Management Inc. now owns 57,924 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $2,890,000 after buying an additional 56,691 shares in the last quarter. Northwest Bancshares Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Delta Air Lines by 13.2% during the first quarter. Northwest Bancshares Inc. now owns 46,839 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $2,419,000 after buying an additional 5,449 shares in the last quarter. Finally, New York State Common Retirement Fund grew its holdings in shares of Delta Air Lines by 9.2% during the fourth quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund now owns 1,558,221 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $77,755,000 after buying an additional 130,820 shares in the last quarter. 91.60% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Delta Air Lines Company Profile

Delta Air Lines, Inc provides scheduled air transportation for passengers and cargo in the United States and internationally. The company operates through two segments, Airline and Refinery. Its route network is centered on a system of hubs and markets at airports in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, London-Heathrow, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Minneapolis-St.

Further Reading: Initial Public Offering (IPO)

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