Delta Air Lines expects profits to double in 2023
A strong 2023 outlook is lifting Delta Air Lines Inc (NYSE:DAL) today, after news that the company expects profits to double on strong travel demand. Plus, non-fuel costs are projected to drop by as much as 7% next year, giving the airliner some space to better utilize its resources.
At last glance, DAL was up 2.6% at $34.26. The stock has been trading choppily since since its early-December six-month highs, which occurred after the shares broke above long-term pressure at the $36 level. Pressure at the 320-day moving average kept a tight lid on that rally, however. Year-to-date, the equity is down 13.1%.
Options traders are targeting DAL at double the usual intraday volume. So far, 31,000 calls and 11,000 puts have been exchanged, double the average amount. Seeing the most activity are the December 35, 34, and 36 calls.
Calls have consistently outweighed puts in the options pits, as per the security’s 10-day call/put volume ratio of 4.44 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). This ratio ranks higher than 86% of readings from the past year, indicating a stronger-than-usual penchant for bullish bets.
Analysts are strongly optimistic as well, with 13 of the 14 in coverage carrying a “strong buy” rating, and only one a “hold.” Plus, the 12-month consensus price target of $48.80 is a roughly 42% premium to current levels.