Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL) has announced a new program to return $1 billion in capital back to shareholders. The plan involves bringing back the company’s dividend and buying back $500 million shares of its stock, according to Reuters.
After the airline made the announcement, shares of its stock rose as much as 3 percent at the New York Stock Exchange during the trading day on Wednesday.
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Delta Air Lines’ Plan Details
The airline is aiming to generate up to $5 billion in value for shareholders, according to a company statement. It will offer its first dividend in ten years. Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL) will pay a dividend of 6 cents per share on Sept. 10 to shareholders of record on Aug. 9.
The airline’s share buyback plan will be completed by the end of June 2016. The last time Delta had a share buyback plan in place was about 13 years ago.
Delta’s Plans Are Good News For The Airline Industry
Reuters reporter Karen Jacobs points out that Delta’s new capital plan is good news not just for the airline itself, but also for the air industry as a whole. The industry has been struggling since the 9/11 attacks, and the fact that Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL) is able to begin returning value to shareholders is a good sign that the industry might be shifting into recovery mode.
Airlines have been making numerous changes since 9/11. They’ve added new fees, and some carriers in the U.S. have merged. They’ve also cut routes that were losing money while also introducing new streams of revenue.
Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL) itself has also made changes, retiring some of its aircraft that use too much fuel and even buying an oil refinery. It also built partnerships with airlines located outside the U.S. and expanded flights in some of the more lucrative markets in the U.S.
It’s possible that other airlines will follow Delta and introduce capital return plans of their own.