What to Look for in Delta Earnings

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Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL) is scheduled to release its third-quarter financial results on Thursday before the markets open. The consensus estimates are calling for $1.65 in earnings per share (EPS) and $10.55 billion in revenue. In the same period of last year, it posted EPS of $1.74 and $11.1 billion in revenue.

Just recently, the board of directors announced that Richard H. Anderson has elected to retire as executive chairman. Francis S. “Frank” Blake, who has been lead director since May 2016, will succeed Anderson as Delta’s non-executive chairman. Blake, the former board chair and chief executive of Home Depot, joined Delta’s board in July 2014.

Also during this quarter, the company saw a computer outage that had an impact on flights back in August. Shares took a hit but the stock has risen since then, though still not to the levels from this spring.

In the previous earnings report, the company’s CEO said that capacity would decline by 1% at the end of 2016, compared to the year-end position in 2015.

Prior to the release of the earnings report, a few analysts weighed in on the stock:

  • Bernstein has a Market Perform rating with a $43 price target.
  • Merrill Lynch has a Buy rating with a $60 price target.
  • Buckingham Research has a Buy rating with a $54 price target.
  • Credit Suisse reiterated a Buy rating with a $54 price target.
  • Cowen has a Buy rating with a $55 price target.

So far in 2016, Delta has underperformed the broad markets, with the stock down about 22%. Over the past 52 weeks, the stock is down about 18.5%.

Shares of Delta were trading up 0.6% at $39.17 on Wednesday, with a 52-week trading range of $32.60 to $52.77.

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