S&P admits its ratings were never supposed to be reliable. How’s that for proof you need to do your own diligence?
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Smart investors consider more than just the dividend of a stock. They also consider the principal risk. If the principal risk is greater than the dividend yield then the dividend is of no real value. I see the principal risk of this stock at more than 15% with a fair value closer to $50 – after adjusting for the pension accounting shenanigans.
Yesterday, Goldman Sach’s initiated on Delta Airlines (DAL) with a Sell Rating. This stock call comes two months after my note to clients recommending shorting DAL.
As I wrote in “Don’t Be Fooled: Get Short Now”, the euro is not that different from Enron, WorldCom or the Madoff fund. All of these organizations were able to pretend they were profitable or solvent long after they were insolvent.
Now markets are finally acknowledging the intractability of the Euro debacle.
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After S&P’s recent upgrade to its outlook on Delta Airlines [s: DAL], I cannot help but to wonder how they do their analysis.
In his weekly column, The Trader, Vito Racanelli features my in-depth work on the funky accounting Delta Airlines’ (DAL) uses to mask $26 billion on off-balance sheet liabilities. Mr. Racanelli agrees with my assertion that DAL’s stock is under tremendous pressure as soon as investors recognize the looming pension liabilities.
I do not think S&P’s analysts are aware of Delta’s staggering $22.3 billion in off-balance sheet liabilities, which include $14.1 billion in underfunded pensions and $8.2 in operating leases.
I recommend investors avoid Delta Airlines (DAL). I think the stock could see significant downward pressure as more investors realize how the company is propping up its earnings with relatively aggressive accounting for its pension and postretirement plan (“pensions”), which are already seriously underfunded.