Delta Air Lines (DAL) Stock Review – Buy DAL in 2014?
Ranked number 7 on our list of top 2014 stocks to buy is DAL, whose stock prices soared 151.28% over our 52-week review period. This trans-U.S. and global carrier is one of the few players in the industry whose employees have preferred to work in a non-unionized environment. As a result, Delta has a much lower unionized workforce, which offers it a competitive advantage (lower wage pressures) over its peers.
The merger with Northwest has also added wind to Delta's wings and caused a spike to its stock price, as investors see Delta in a much better position to tackle larger competitors. The company already controls close to 50% of all departures initiating from LaGuardia – a significant percentage rise from the 25% share it owned in 2007. Relatively tame crude oil prices helped the company's bottom line, which also contributed to the shares doing well in 2014.
The introduction of several "Open Skies" pacts could, however, take the wind out of Delta's wings, forcing lower-cost carriers to snap up some of the company's customers in the coming years. Potential investors should also keep an eye on crude oil prices, as any spike could increase costs and eat into margins. 2014 might also see the recently merged U.S. Airways and American Airlines try to take DAL market share which could lead to DAL share prices taking a hit.