by Christopher Freeburn | January 21, 2014 11:36 am
On Tuesday, Delta Air Lines (DAL) announced a higher profit during the December quarter and said it anticipated “margin expansion” during the current quarter. DAL stock rallied on the news, moving up more than 2%.
The airline said that it generated fourth-quarter adjusted earnings of $558 million. Adjusted EPS came in at 65 cents a share, topping the 63 cents expected by analysts. Revenue for the quarter was $9.08 billion, up 6% from the same period last year. That also exceeded the $9.04 billion that Wall Street was looking for, Reuters notes.
Delta indicated that passenger revenue jumped 18.5% in Latin America during the fourth-quarter. U.S. passenger revenue climbed 9% during the period, compared to passenger revenue growth of just 1.9% in Europe. Passenger revenue in the Pacific region sank 1.6% during the quarter.
For the first quarter, DAL predicted an operating margin of between 6% and 8%.
DAL stock has gained more than 120% over the past twelve months on rising passenger traffic and falling fuel costs. DAL stock now trades over $31 a share.
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