Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) announced its first quarter financial results. The Company reported-better than-expected revenue and earnings. For the first quarter, Delta reported earnings of USD 96 cents per share on revenue of USD 10.47 Billion. Refinitiv analysts polled for earnings of USD 90 cents per share on revenue of USD 10.42 Billion for the quarter.
Delta said that revenue was driven by improvements across its business units such as an 8% increase in premium product ticket revenue and double-digit percentage increases across loyalty, maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul revenue.
The improvements across Delta’s segment also led to a 2.4% increase year-over-year in revenue per available seat mile in the quarter.
“Delta is off to a solid start in 2019. Our March quarter performance demonstrates the power of our growing brand preference, our unmatched competitive advantages, and most importantly the Delta people who are committed to providing the best travel experiences for our customers every day. I’m pleased to recognize their efforts with USD 220 Million toward next year’s profit sharing,” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s chief executive officer.
Investors anticipated strong results from Delta after the Company raised its guidance last week. In addition, Delta recently renewed its American Express (NYSE: AXP) partnership for its SkyMiles credit card. Delta mentioned that the renewal will positively impact the airline’s financials over the span of the agreement.
“With the momentum in our business and our American Express contract renewal, we have increased confidence in achieving our full-year plan of top-line growth, margin expansion and double-digit earnings growth.” concluded Bastian.
Delta’s better-than-expected earnings sent other airlines’ stock price higher on Wednesday. JetBlue (NASDAQ: JBLU) shares rose by 3.58%, American Airlines (NASDAQ: AAL) jumped by 2.2%, Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) edged 1.39% higher, and United Airlines stock was 0.71% higher.
However, unlike American Airlines and Southwest, Delta managed to avoid the downgrades from analysts due to the two Boeing (NYSE: BA) 737 crashes in the past five months. Analysts downgraded American Airlines and Southwest because the two carriers use 737s in their fleets. Both airlines slashed their first quarter guidance after having to cancel thousands of flights due to weather and maintenance issues.
As for Delta’s June 2019 quarter, the airline expects earnings between USD 2.05 to USD 2.35 per share. Delta expects total revenue to grow between 6% to 8% year-over-year.
Delta shares are now up 16% year-to-date.