6. Delta Air Lines (DAL) is a U.S.-based airline engaged in providing passenger and cargo services worldwide.
Delta's revenue during the June quarter grew $1 billion following a 1% increase in passenger traffic. Passenger revenue, forming about 88% of operating revenue, grew 13%, while cargo was the fastest growing segment during the quarter, at 25%.
Fuel costs were a major dampener during the quarter, increasing 39% year-over-year to $1 billion. While the company's liquidity position is strong, it holds $3.8 million in cash and short-term investments, and $1.8 billion in credit facilities. Operating cash flow during the June quarter was $1 billion.Capacity reductions this December and rationalization of non-fuel costs would aid margins in the range of 7% to 9% during the third quarter of 2011. Hank Halter, Delta's chief financial officer, said, "With strong cash generation despite fuel price pressures, we are making solid progress on our debt reduction goals." He added, "In 18 months, we have reduced our net debt by over $3 billion, while still making significant investments in our product, fleet and facilities." Analysts' consensus estimate pegs average gains for the stock at 67% over the next one year with buy 87% rating. The stock is trading at 7.2 times its estimated 2011 earnings.
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