Delta Air Lines Airbus A330neo or A330-900 aircraft with neo engine option of the European plane manufacturer, as seen departing from Amsterdam Schiphol AMS EHAM International airport.
Nicolas Economou | NurPhoto | Getty Images
Delta Air Lines‘ fourth-quarter profit topped analysts’ expectations, and its revenue grew from three years ago, the latest signs of consumers’ willingness to shell out for air travel.
The airline generated $13.44 billion in the final three months of 2022, topping the $11.44 billion in sales it brought in three years earlier. High costs ate away at some of Delta’s profits, but its net income still totaled $828 million, down from $1.1 billion in the same three-month period of 2019.
Delta CEO Ed Bastian said in a news release the carrier “rose to the challenges of 2022, delivering industry-leading operational reliability and financial performance.”
Here’s how Delta performed in the fourth quarter, compared with Wall Street expectations based on Refinitiv consensus estimates:
- Adjusted earnings per share: $1.48 vs. $1.33 expected.
- Adjusted revenue: $12.29 billion, excluding refinery sales, vs. $12.23 billion expected.
Airlines have largely been upbeat about the fourth quarter, despite concerns about a recession and weakness from some retailers and other businesses. On Thursday, American Airlines hiked its revenue and profit forecast for the period, sparking a broad rally in the sector.
That was even after severe winter weather disrupted flights coast to coast over the year-end holidays, prompting mass cancellations. Southwest Airlines in particular struggled to recover and said its meltdown could cost it more than $800 million. American and Southwest report on Jan. 26.
Delta expects to earn 15 cents to 40 cents a share on an adjusted basis in the first quarter of 2023 and for its sales to increase 14% to 17% over the same quarter of 2019. It forecast full-year 2023 earnings of $5 to $6 a share.
Delta’s shares were down more than 4% in premarket trading.
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