Delta Airlines ($NYSE:DAL) is expected to announce an EPS of $1.39 per share when it reports its results on January 14, according to analysts tracked by Zacks Investment Research. Things are going pretty well over at Delta; there's been a YoY increase in its stock (+6.9%) and revenues are up 5.6% from last year.

What in the world is contributing to all of this success? Alternative data might be able to explain - other than the fact that only a few airlines control everything and therefore make the industry an oligopoly, that helps too.

The sheer number of people who work at Delta has gone up a remarkable 77% over the last five years, and yet paying all of those workers has only added value to the stock price. We expect the total number to go down in 2020, mostly due to LinkedIn purging lots of accounts, which gives a more accurate total of the staff at a given company. 

Delta is also being quite aggressive in its hiring, adding 65% more openings to its website over the last few weeks.

The most stunning fact is people are growing more attached to Delta. The Twitter following has gone up 19% over the last three years, which means people like their airlines (is it Stockholm Syndrome)? The same is true for the Instagram following (not shown), which has also increased year over year.

And finally, the place where all people go to complain, Facebook. Likes have more than doubled since 2015, so congrats to Delta for fostering a non-angry mob online. Because based on most people's experiences at airports, you'd think the likes would be going down for most airlines over the years.

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

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