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.
Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article at the time of publication. Check out Tim's web home, portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Google+, Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.
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