Traders Buy High Volume of Call Options on Delta Air Lines (DAL)

Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL) saw unusually large options trading on Friday. Stock investors acquired 24,677 call options on the company. This is an increase of approximately 214% compared to the typical daily volume of 7,859 call options.

In other news, President Glen W. Hauenstein sold 67,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, July 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.15, for a total transaction of $3,695,050.00. Following the completion of the sale, the president now directly owns 239,418 shares in the company, valued at approximately $13,203,902.70. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, VP Craig M. Meynard sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, July 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.26, for a total value of $276,300.00. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 7,437 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $410,968.62. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have acquired 141,000 shares of company stock worth $283,440 and have sold 75,700 shares worth $4,171,150. Corporate insiders own 0.37% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in DAL. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. raised its holdings in Delta Air Lines by 47.6% in the 1st quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 1,385,205 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $63,664,000 after acquiring an additional 446,573 shares during the period. San Francisco Sentry Investment Group CA raised its holdings in Delta Air Lines by 25.5% in the 1st quarter. San Francisco Sentry Investment Group CA now owns 9,840 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $452,000 after acquiring an additional 2,000 shares during the period. Pacer Advisors Inc. raised its holdings in Delta Air Lines by 19.0% in the 1st quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 19,956 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $917,000 after acquiring an additional 3,182 shares during the period. Nordea Investment Management AB raised its holdings in Delta Air Lines by 44.5% in the 1st quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 2,478,620 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $113,917,000 after acquiring an additional 762,881 shares during the period. Finally, Bank Hapoalim BM bought a new position in Delta Air Lines in the 1st quarter worth $332,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 86.26% of the company’s stock.

A number of research firms have recently commented on DAL. Barclays PLC began coverage on Delta Air Lines in a report on Thursday, August 10th. They set an “overweight” rating and a $70.00 price objective for the company. BidaskClub downgraded Delta Air Lines from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, August 4th. Morgan Stanley restated an “overweight” rating and set a $57.00 price objective (up from $56.00) on shares of Delta Air Lines in a report on Wednesday, October 4th. Wolfe Research upgraded Delta Air Lines from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, August 18th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, UBS AG restated a “buy” rating and set a $62.00 price objective (down from $65.00) on shares of Delta Air Lines in a report on Saturday, September 30th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating, sixteen have issued a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $61.91.

Delta Air Lines (NYSE DAL) opened at 52.01 on Monday. The stock has a market capitalization of $37.86 billion, a PE ratio of 10.31 and a beta of 1.25. Delta Air Lines has a 52-week low of $37.91 and a 52-week high of $55.75. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $48.09 and a 200-day moving average of $49.25.

Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, July 13th. The transportation company reported $1.64 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.66 by ($0.02). The firm had revenue of $10.79 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.81 billion. Delta Air Lines had a return on equity of 28.33% and a net margin of 9.30%. The business’s revenue was up 3.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.47 EPS. On average, equities analysts expect that Delta Air Lines will post $5.12 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, September 13th. Investors of record on Wednesday, August 23rd were issued a $0.305 dividend. This represents a $1.22 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.35%. The ex-dividend date was Monday, August 21st. This is an increase from Delta Air Lines’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.20. Delta Air Lines’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 24.25%.

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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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