With United Airlines’ shares under a cloud after some bad publicity, rival US carrier Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE:DAL) saw its stock get a boost today as the firm reported above-forecast first-quarter adjusted earnings.
For the quarter to March 31, the airline reported adjusted earnings per share of 77 US cents, above the consensus forecast of 75 US cents.
However, Delta’s headline first-quarter net earnings of US$603mln, or 82 cents a share, were a big drop from the US$946mln, or US$1.21 a share recorded a year earlier, impacted by higher fuel costs.
The airlines’ revenue fell by 1% to US$9.15bn in the quarter, down from US$9.25bn a year earlier, and below the consensus estimate of US$9.20bn.
Traffic up, capacity down …
Total passenger revenue declined 1% to US$7.69bn, as traffic increased by 0.5% to 47.95bn revenue passenger miles, while capacity decreased by 0.5% to 57.87bn available seat miles.
Delta’s president, Glen Hauenstein said: "March marked the first month of positive passenger unit revenues since November 2015 and we are encouraged by the current fare and demand trends across the network.”
He added: "We expect June quarter passenger unit revenues to increase one to three percent and remain positive throughout the year."
In pre-market trading in New York, Delta shares were 2.7% higher at US$46.50.