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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Delta Air Lines Expeditors International of Washington, Copa Holdings and ArcBest Corp

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – January 19, 2022 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Delta Air Lines (DAL - Free Report) , Expeditors International (EXPD - Free Report) , Copa Holdings (CPA - Free Report) and ArcBest (ARCB - Free Report) .

Here are highlights from Tuesday’s Analyst Blog:

3 Transportation Stocks to Buy Before Q4 Earnings

Delta Air Lines kicked off the fourth-quarter 2021 earnings season for the transportation sector on Jan 13, 2022. The airline behemoth fared well reporting better-than-expected earnings per share and revenues. Upbeat passenger traffic during the holiday period aided results.

Although Delta’s management expects the carrier to incur a loss in the March quarter due to omicron-related woes, outlook for the rest of the year is bright. DAL anticipates delivering a profit in the other three quarters of 2022. The impressive earnings report and the bullish long-term forecast boosted the DAL stock post the result announcement.

Following Delta, a plethora of transportation stocks is scheduled to release fourth-quarter financial numbers over the next month or so. Against this backdrop, investors interested in the Transportation sector would like to add stocks like Expeditors International of Washington, Copa Holdings and ArcBest Corp. to their respective portfolios for higher returns.

Our latest earnings preview indicates that earnings of the transportation sector are likely to have registered a huge jump in the final quarter of 2021 from the year-ago actuals, notwithstanding the current omicron-led crisis.  With the reopening of economies, economic activities gained pace, courtesy of large-scale vaccination programs. Administered with jabs, people are now more confident of going out and resuming their daily activities.

The uptick in trading volumes is likely to have aided the earnings picture of this widely-diversified transportation sector, particularly those in the railroad and shipping industry. The fourth-quarter performance of airlines in the sector is likely to have benefited from increased passenger volume. Other airlines like Delta also might anticipate the omicron impact to be short term than long

Moreover, upbeat freight demand, driven by increased consumer spending, construction and manufacturing activities, is likely to have aided the performance of trucking stocks in the December quarter. Additionally, the declining trend in growth with respect to oil price is also likely to have bolstered the bottom-line performance of the transportation stocks in the fourth quarter. This is because fuel expenses represent one of the highest input costs for these companies.

Oil prices inched up 0.3% in the quarter to be reported from the sequential quarter’s reading. The oil price increase is lower than the 2.1% rise in the third quarter compared with the second-quarter levels.

Against this backdrop, we believe, investors should add transportation stocks to their portfolios. Below we present three stocks from the sector, currently carrying either a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here. Moreover, each of the stocks has a positive  Earnings ESP, making an earnings beat likely. 

The combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1, 2 or even 3 (Hold) increases the odds of an earnings surprise. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our  Earnings ESP Filter.

Expeditors currently has an earnings ESP of +2.97% and a Zacks Rank #1. EXPD is being bolstered by upbeat airfreight revenues. Like the first three quarters of 2021, we expect airfreight revenues to aid Expeditors’ fourth-quarter 2021 results (scheduled to be out on Feb 22, 2022).

Shares of Expeditors have surged 30.8% in a year’s time. The optimism surrounding the stock is evident from the 2.5% northbound revision of the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the December-quarter earnings over the past 60 days.

Copa Holdings with a Zacks Rank #2 at present and an Earnings ESP of +11.01% is slated to release fourth-quarter 2021 results on Feb 9. Driven by factors like ramped-up vaccination, economic activities are slowly picking up the pace, buoying consumer confidence in Latin America. As a result, passenger revenues are likely to have improved at this Latin American carrier in the December quarter.

Copa Holdings has an impressive earnings surprise history wherein its bottom line outshined the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the trailing four quarters and missed the mark in the remaining quarter. Shares of CPA have gained 9.8% in a year’s time.

ArcBest Corp. currently has an Earnings ESP of +2.56% and is presently Zacks #2 Ranked. ARCB’s earnings trumped the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the trailing four quarters, the average being 27.4%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for ARCB’s December quarter earnings has been revised 0.91% upward in the past 60 days.

Shares of ArcBest have skyrocketed 185.5% so far this year. Improving freight conditions in the United States is likely to have aided ARCB’s fourth-quarter performance. Solid customer demand and higher market rates are also likely to have supported results (scheduled to be out on Feb 2, 2022).

Stay on top of upcoming earnings announcements with the Zacks Earnings Calendar.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit https://www.zacks.com/performancefor information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.