Despite weather cancelations through a bad winter, Delta stock (DAL) is up after the airline company saw profit surge in its first quarter.
Revenue increased 4.9% to $8.92 billion.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected a per-share profit of 29 cents with a revenue of $8.9 billion.
The big U.S. airline’s financial improvement came despite the fact it canceled more than 17,000 flights due to severe weather in January and February, double the number of flights canceled for weather in 2013. Those cancellations resulted in $90 million of lost revenue and $55 million lower pretax income, the company said.
Where Delta is seeing big gains is by filling more seats while paying somewhat less for fuel.
Passengers flew 4% more miles than last year, which has increased occupancy.
In addition, as the Washington Post reported, “the company spent $2.70 billion on fuel, its largest expense in the quarter. Still, that was a savings of $109 million, or 4 percent, as Delta paid $3.03 per gallon instead of last year’s $3.24. The company expects total fuel costs of $2.97 to $3.02 per gallon in the second quarter.”
As we have noted before, Delta Air Lines has rallied 470% from summer 2011 into its recent early April 2014 top. This echoes many other airline stocks that saw gains in recent years.