November 12, 2012
Airline stocks have taken a hit following Hurricane Sandy, which caused more than 20,000 North American flights to be cancelled and resulting in an estimated $190 million in lost revenue. Legacy carriers Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL ) and United Continental (NYSE: UAL ) are expected to take the brunt of the damage -- an estimated $95 million combined, according to analyst firm Hunter Keay -- but Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV ) could also lose $10 million.
The timing stinks. October traffic fell 2.4% year over year while available seat miles declined 1.6%. Load factor fell 70 basis points to 80.7%. Fewer planes flying fewer routes at a lower capacity doesn't bode well for fourth-quarter results. Yet, given Southwest's valuation, dividend (a rarity among airlines), and popularity among fliers, there's still reason to believe in this business. Find out more in the video below, which was shot on location at Denver International Airport.
For as cheap as the stock looks like right now, Southwest would still suffer if Sandy spikes oil prices back up over $100 a barrel. How can you hedge against this eventuality? Our analysts address this question in a new report, "3 Stocks for $100 Oil." Hundreds of thousands have requested access to previous reports. This one can be yours right now by clicking here -- it's free.