4 Airline Stocks to Avoid as a New Covid-19 Variant Spreads

The travel industry seemed just a few days ago to be on the cusp of renewal, with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screening nearly 2.5 million people during the Thanksgiving season. The TSA’s screening number was the highest since…

February 15, 2020. However, airlines are now scrambling to navigate a fast-degrading travel outlook amid deep concerns over the COVID-19 omicron variant.

In addition, the Biden administration has plans to restrict travel from South Africa and seven other countries for non-U.S. citizens. This is expected to cause negative repercussions aplenty in the coming months.

So, we think it could thus be wise to avoid airline stocks Delta Air Lines, Inc. (DAL), Ryanair Holdings plc (RYAAY), United Airlines Holdings, Inc. (UAL), and Azul S.A. (AZUL) for now.

Delta Air Lines, Inc. (DAL)

DAL in Atlanta, Ga., provides scheduled air transportation for passengers and cargo internationally. The company has two segments, Airline and Refinery, and operates with  a fleet of approximately 1,100 aircraft.

At the end of the September quarter of 2021, the company had $27.8 billion in total debt and finance lease obligations, with adjusted net debt of $19.3 billion. This might take a toll on DAL’s currently weak financials in the near term.

DAL’s adjusted operating revenue was $8.28 billion for the third quarter ended September 30, 2021, compared to $12.51 billion in the previous period. Its adjusted net income decreased 87.1% from the prior period to $194 million. Furthermore, its adjusted EPS came in at $0.30, compared to $2.33 in the year-ago period.

Analysts expect DAL’s EPS to remain negative in its fiscal year 2021. Also, its EPS is estimated to decrease 23.7% per annum for the next five years. And  the stock has lost 7.4% in price over the past month to close the last trading session at $36.24.

DAL’s POWR Ratings reflect its poor prospects. The POWR Ratings assess stocks by 118 distinct factors, each with its own weighting.

The stock has a D grade for Momentum and Stability. Click here to access the additional POWR Ratings for DAL (Growth, Value, Sentiment, and Quality). DAL is ranked #14 of 32 stocks in the F-rated Airlines industry.

Ryanair Holdings plc (RYAAY)

Headquartered in Swords, Ireland, RYAAY and its subsidiaries provide scheduled-passenger airline services in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Germany, and other European countries.

RYAAY’s total current liabilities came in at €3.73 billion ($4.23 billion) for the period ended September 30, 2021, compared to €3.53 billion ($3.99 billion) for the period ended March 31, 2021. Its Total non-current liabilities were €5.41 billion ($6.12 billion), compared to €4.15 billion ($4.71 billion) for the same period. Furthermore, its restricted cash was  €22.7 million ($25.71 million), compared to €34.1 million ($38.63 million), also for the same period.

Analysts expect RYAAY’s EPS to remain…


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