TD Cowen analysts maintained their Outperform rating and $49 price target on Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) while naming the stock as its Best Idea for 2024. As a consequence, shares rose more than 2% intra-day today.

The analysts highlighted Delta’s robust financial health, noting its efforts to reduce debt and a strategy to return value to shareholders. The analysts are optimistic about Delta’s continued recovery after the pandemic, citing its expanding network through strategic joint ventures that enhance customer experience. Both the 2023 and 2024 financial forecasts align with general market expectations.

The analysts expect Delta to focus on growth in the coming year, particularly by expanding from its U.S. hubs and increasing flight capacity in both the Pacific and Atlantic regions. The airline’s strategy includes leveraging its membership in the SkyTeam alliance to enter new markets with less risk, utilizing the networks of partner airlines. Moreover, Delta’s strong loyalty program is seen as a key revenue driver, with efforts to attract new members beyond its major hubs and to boost the acceptance of its American Express SkyMiles card.

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