Delta, US Airways Soar on Earnings

However, Boeing hindered by weak annual forecast

By InvestorPlace Staff

A couple more airlines followed up last week’s Southwest (NYSE:LUV) beat with a pair of their own Wednesday, while the company churning out the planes themselves threw out a mixed report.

Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) jumped more than 8% after the bell on higher quarterly earnings, in the face of fuel prices that rose almost 20%. DAL’s earnings of $425 million (50 cents per share) beat out the year-ago period’s $19 million (2 cents). Adjusted EPS came to 45 cents per share, topping expectations for 38 cents.

Meanwhile, US Airways (NYSE:LCC) was up more than 15% with its own surprise, though earnings still were down 36% from 2010. LCC reported earnings of $18 million (11 cents per share), down from $28 million (17 cents). However, revenues increased 8.5%, and adjusted earnings of 13 cents per share beat estimates by a dime. LCC’s own fuel prices were up 29% from a year ago.

Manufacturer Boeing (NYSE:BA) didn’t fare quite as well after its report. Despite fourth-quarter earnings growth of 20%, BA stock was down by about 3% on disappointing 2012 forecasts.

Boeing’s reported earnings of $1.39 billion ($1.84 per share), beating the year-ago period’s $1.16 billion ($1.56), thanks to revenues that grew 18% to $19.56 billion. Excluding a 52-cent tax settlement, its earnings came to $1.31 per share, beating expectations for $1.01.

However, full-year EPS forecasts of $4.05 to $4.25 were significantly below recent expectations for $4.96, though its revenue range of $78 billion to $80 billion was in line.

The airliners’ reports come just a couple months removed from the bankruptcy of American Airlines parent AMR Corp. (PINK:AAMRQ). United Continental (NYSE:UAL) is up next, reporting before the bell Thursday.

— Kyle Woodley, Assistant Editor

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