Delta Airlines Inc. (NYSE: DAL) reported its fourth quarter financial results and topped analysts’ estimates sending shares 4 percent higher on Thursday.
For the fourth quarter, Delta reported earnings of $0.96, higher than the same quarter last year of $0.82, and topping analysts’ estimates of $0.88. The airline reported revenue of $10.25 billion, increasing 8.3 percent year over year, and topping analysts’ estimates of $10.13 billion.
For the full year, Delta reported operating revenue of $41.2 billion, up 4.0 percent year over year. Total unit revenues, excluding refinery sales, increased 2.4 percent on 1.0 percent higher capacity.
Delta says the holiday season flights offset revenue and expect holiday flights to continue throughout the first quarter of 2018.
“Delta people rose to the challenges of 2017 to produce solid financial results, industry leading operational reliability and strong improvements in customer satisfaction, and it’s an honor to recognize their achievements with $1.1 billion in profit sharing,” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s chief executive officer.
“We enter 2018 with significant momentum and every entity delivering positive passenger unit revenue for the first time in five years, driven by a robust demand environment and improving business fares,” said Glen Hauenstein, Delta’s president.
Hauenstein expects to deliver total unit revenue growth of 2.5 to 4.5 percent in the March quarter. He expects domestic network, international partnerships, and commercial initiatives to deliver same growth rates throughout 2018.
Bastian now expects an earnings growth of 4 to 6 percent for 2018, providing a $6.35 to $6.70 per share full year growth.