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As of 3 p.m. New York time Monday, April 11, airline stocks were rallying strongly ahead of Delta Air Lines (DAL) earnings report Wednesday morning. The stocks gave up some ground at the close but still finished the day strongly

Delta shares were up 4.68% at 3 p.m. and closed at 4.00%. Shares of American Airlines (AAL) had gained 3.04% at 3 p.m. and closed up 2.29%. And United Airlines Holdings (UAL) was ahead 1.72% at 3 p.m. and closed higher by 1.10%.

When Delta reports on April 13, before the New York open, analysts are looking for a big improvement from a beyond dismal first quarter of 2021. For the first quarter of 2022 Wall Street forecasts that the company will lose $1.33 a share. No profits, of course. (This is still an airline). But way better than the $3.55 a share Delta lost in the first quarter of 2021.

The other big U.S. legacy airlines are expected to show similar progress from terrible to not so bad when they report.

United, which reports on April 20, is forecast to show a loss of a huge $4.04 a share, down from an even huge-er loss to $7.50 a share in the first quarter of 2021.

American, which reports on April 21, is forecast to report a loss of $2.51 a share against a loss of $4.32 in the first quarter of 2021.

Part of the excitement today is on a belief that the better news for the first quarter of 2022 will turn into actual good news during the summer flying season.

I own shares of Delta in my Jubak Picks Portfolio where it is down 3.40% since my January 31, 2022 pick. The stock is up 17.68% in the east month, as of the close on April 8. But the shares are still own 5.99% for 2022 to date. Morningstar calculates that Delta is selling at a 36% discount.

Full disclosure: I own Delta Call Options in my personal portfolio.