CS First Boston Cuts Delta Air to 'Underperform'

Analyst James Higgins says drawn-out negotiations with the pilots' union is increasing investors' concerns

CS First Boston downgraded Delta Air Lines (DAL ) to underperform from neutral.

Analyst James Higgins says according to reports, Delta's pilots' union is close to abandoning hopes for a pact on givebacks that Delta requested in mid-contract talks. He thinks the labor issues here will drag out and possibly heat up in the near future.

Higgins now thinks this issue is getting more complex and is increasing investors' concerns as Delta is in a growing period of "financial bleeding." He's not predicting a bankruptcy filing, but he thinks Delta may have come close to that threat. He's keeping the $4.00 2004 loss estimate, and cut the price target t