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Delta Air Lines shares fly lower ahead of third quarter results

Shares have struggled to take off this year, due to various headwinds, analysis shows

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In the third quarter, analysts expect the US carrier by traffic to report net income of US$1.13bn compared to US$1.26bn a year earlier.

Shares in Delta Air Lines Inc (NYSE:DAL) flew lower today ahead of its third quarter results on Wednesday before the bell, as analysts predicted a fall in profits.

Shares have struggled to take off this year, due to various headwinds, and according to Zacks, has underperformed the Zacks Transportation-Airline industry on a year-to-date basis.

Shares have gained 5.7%, whereas the industry has rallied 15.2%.

In the third quarter, analysts expect the US carrier by traffic to report net income of US$1.13bn compared to US$1.26bn a year earlier.

But revenue is expected to grow - to US$11.04bn, up from $10.48bn a year ago.

Last week, the carrier lowered its operating margin expectations, blaming a percentage point of the 2-3% decline on a $120 million hit from 2,200 flight cancellations due to Hurricane Irma.

Following that news, broker Stifel lowered its target on the shares to US$75 from US$80 previously, while maintaining a 'buy' rating.

Scrutinised this week will be fuel costs, which are expected to limit earnings growth in the three months.

The price per gallon is expected to be between $1.68 and $1.73.

Delta shares today lost 0.63% in New York to stand at US$51.68 each.

Quick facts: Delta Air Lines

Price: 29.82 USD

NYSE:DAL
Market: NYSE
Market Cap: $19.02 billion
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