Crude's wild volatility has created some serious turbulence for the airline industry.
As crude oil prices have rapidly declined this year, airline stocks as a whole have underperformed. The XAL, the index that tracks the sector, is down 16 percent year to date, this as the broader S&P 500 is down less than 5 percent in the same period. Crude oil is down 18 percent in 2015.
"All of the airlines have underperformed the market year-to-date despite oil being so weak," technician Carter Worth said Friday on CNBC's "Options Action." But for Worth, there's one name in the space that could be poised to break out: Delta.
In the face of broader weakness, Delta shares have managed to hold up well. The stock is up 18 percent in the past 52 weeks, trading in a relatively narrow range of $40 to $50.
"To my eye, the stock will bust out of this standoff and move to a new high," said Worth, head of technical analysis at Cornerstone Macro. Worth sees the stock rallying past its late January high of $51 and rising to the $53 area, a move of more than 13 percent from the current price of around $46.50.
Confirming Worth's thesis is a recent change in chart pattern relative to crude oil.
Looking at a chart of crude oil versus Delta, Worth noted the inverse relationship over the past year has recently broken. "You've seen a period of weakness in crude and then strength in Delta and then the reverse," he said. "What's happened of late is that oil has bounced 16 percent off its low, but this time Delta did not react inversely—in fact, it is quite strong," Worth continued. Since oil hit a low on Aug. 24, Delta shares have rallied more than 35 percent.
"This indicates to me that something is changing with the dynamic of the past year," he continued. "We like it on the long side."
Wall Street's expectations for the stock exceed Worth's. Of the 17 analysts that cover Delta, the average price target is $60.06 with a rating of "buy," according to FactSet.