Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Delta have outperformed its industry as well as rival United Continental Holdings in a year's time.  Ushering in further good news, the company increased its current-quarter projection for unit revenues on the back of higher demand for air travel. The carrier expects total unit revenues (excluding refinery sales) to increase in the band of 4% to 5% (on a year-over-year basis) in the first quarter of 2018. The company's efforts to reward shareholders are also impressive. In 2017, it returned $2.4 billion to shareholders. The company's initiatives to reduce its debt levels also please us. The new tax law, which reduces its corporate tax rate significantly, is anticipated to aid the company’s performance, going forward. However, high fuel costs do not bode well for the company. Fuel price, including taxes and refinery impact, is envisioned between $2 and $2.05 per gallon in the first quarter of 2018. “

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Other analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. Stephens reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $72.00 price objective on shares of Delta Air Lines in a report on Wednesday, January 10th. Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $85.00 price objective (up from $75.00) on shares of Delta Air Lines in a report on Wednesday, January 10th. Imperial Capital reaffirmed an outperform rating and set a $65.00 price objective (up from $63.00) on shares of Delta Air Lines in a report on Friday, January 12th. Sanford C. Bernstein set a $67.00 price objective on Delta Air Lines and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, January 10th. Finally, Cowen upped their price objective on Delta Air Lines from $62.00 to $66.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a report on Friday, December 15th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating, sixteen have assigned a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $67.22.

Shares of Delta Air Lines stock opened at $54.67 on Monday. The stock has a market capitalization of $39,551.80, a P/E ratio of 11.07 and a beta of 1.16. Delta Air Lines has a twelve month low of $43.81 and a twelve month high of $60.79. The company has a current ratio of 0.42, a quick ratio of 0.35 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.47.

Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, January 11th. The transportation company reported $0.96 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.88 by $0.08. The business had revenue of $10.25 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.14 billion. Delta Air Lines had a return on equity of 26.27% and a net margin of 8.67%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.82 EPS. equities research analysts predict that Delta Air Lines will post 6.3 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 16th. Stockholders of record on Friday, February 23rd were given a dividend of $0.305 per share. This represents a $1.22 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.23%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, February 22nd. Delta Air Lines’s dividend payout ratio is currently 24.70%.

In related news, Director Francis S. Blake bought 3,350 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, January 12th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $59.76 per share, with a total value of $200,196.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 33,520 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,003,155.20. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CFO Paul A. Jacobson sold 49,362 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, January 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $60.20, for a total value of $2,971,592.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 164,250 shares of company stock worth $9,618,000. Corporate insiders own 0.37% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in DAL. Diversified Trust Co grew its position in Delta Air Lines by 15.0% in the 4th quarter. Diversified Trust Co now owns 6,456 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $362,000 after acquiring an additional 844 shares during the last quarter. Liberty Capital Management Inc. grew its position in Delta Air Lines by 3.3% in the 4th quarter. Liberty Capital Management Inc. now owns 27,947 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $1,672,000 after acquiring an additional 888 shares during the last quarter. Livingston Group Asset Management CO operating as Southport Capital Management grew its position in Delta Air Lines by 1.8% in the 4th quarter. Livingston Group Asset Management CO operating as Southport Capital Management now owns 51,192 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $2,867,000 after acquiring an additional 916 shares during the last quarter. Telemus Capital LLC grew its position in Delta Air Lines by 16.3% in the 4th quarter. Telemus Capital LLC now owns 6,545 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $367,000 after acquiring an additional 917 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Laurel Wealth Advisors Inc. grew its position in Delta Air Lines by 15.9% in the 4th quarter. Laurel Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 7,300 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $408,000 after acquiring an additional 999 shares during the last quarter. 87.57% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Delta Air Lines

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.

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