Delta Q3 Earnings Take Flight

Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL) released its most recent quarterly results before the markets opened on Thursday. The company said that it had $1.80 in earnings per share (EPS) and $11.95 billion in revenue, which compares with consensus estimates of $1.74 in EPS and revenue of $11.94 billion. In the same period of last year, the airline operator said it had EPS of $1.57 and $11.06 billion in revenue.

During the quarter, the total revenue per available seat mile increased by 4.3%, while the cost per available seat mile excluding fuel costs increased 2.9%.

In terms of its segments, the company reported:

  • Domestic revenues increased 9.2% year over year to $7.4 billion.
  • Atlantic revenues increased 10.7% to $2.0 billion.
  • Pacific revenues increased 3.0% to $730.0 million.
  • Latin America revenues decreased 2.6% to $675.0 million.

Looking ahead to the fourth quarter, the company expects to see EPS in the range of $1.10 to $1.30 and total revenue growth up about 8%. Consensus estimates call for $1.25 in EPS and $10.78 billion in revenue.

Ed Bastian, Delta’s CEO, commented:

Our solid eight percent revenue growth, combined with flat non-fuel unit cost performance, helped offset 85 percent of the $655 million fuel cost increase in the quarter. These achievements are a testament to the strength of the Delta business model and the hard work of the Delta people, and I am pleased to recognize their performance with an additional $395 million toward 2018 profit sharing. Our commercial momentum and improved cost trajectory give us confidence that we are on a path to deliver continued top-line growth and expand margins as we move into 2019.

Shares of Delta closed Wednesday at $49.71, with a consensus analyst price target of $67.27 and a 52-week trading range of $48.33 to $60.79. Following the announcement, the stock was up 3% at $51.40 in early trading indications Thursday.