Wednesday 14 November, 2018

Strong 2Q at Delta, but spiraling fuel costs drag on outlook

Delta topped most profit expectations for the second quarter, but slashed its outlook for the year, citing a $2 billion spike in fuel costs.

The Atlanta carrier on Thursday reported net income of $1.02 billion, or $1.47 per share. Adjusted per-share earnings were $1.77, which, according to a survey by Zacks Investment Research, is a nickel better than Wall Street expected.

That's still down from last year and again, the company cited soaring fuel costs.

Rising fuel prices have the potential to seep into the political scene as the U.S. approaches midterm elections. It has caught the attention of President Donald Trump, who last week tweeted:

"The OPEC Monopoly must remember that gas prices are up & they are doing little to help. If anything, they are driving prices higher as the United States defends many of their members for very little $'s. This must be a two way street. REDUCE PRICING NOW!"

Delta and other airlines have been trying different strategies to try to offset rising fuel costs: charging extra for checking a bag or changing a flight, putting their names on credit cards, and hauling cargo.

Delta's second-quarter revenue of $11.78 billion also beat projections, with double-digit growth in cargo revenue

Delta Air Lines Inc. expects full-year earnings of $5.35 to $5.70 per share, down from earlier per-share forecasts of $6.35 to $6.70.

The company also announced a 15 percent increase in its quarterly dividend, to 35 cents per share.

Its shares rose slightly before the market open.