One industry that has not performed very well in 2011 is the airline group. Inflation in oil prices has negatively impacted the sector, sending stocks in the space lower across the board. The speculation is that higher oil prices will result in lower profits.
Delta Airlines (DAL) started the year trading at $12.69 per share. Today the stock trades for less than $10, at around $9.30 per share. That is a decline of more than 25%. Ouch!In my opinion, the market is taking the path of least resistance with respect to airline stocks. It is far too easy to sell the stocks when oil prices are trading above $100 per barrel. Dig a bit deeper and I think a far different conclusion can be found. Analysts expect Delta to post a loss of 40 cents a share for the current quarter, but a profit of $1.48 a share for the full year. Given that airlines have been able to raise prices in this period, I would suggest that the numbers will be better than expected. Look for a snap back rally in these stocks including Delta. One high-profile Delta Bull is George Soros -- in fact, in the most recently reported period, Soros Fund Management increased its position in the stock by nearly 300%, earning it a spot on a list of 8 Top George Soros Stock Buys.
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