Excluding items, the carrier reported a $39 million loss, despite a $250 million increase in fuel expense. Investors don't like it when rising fuel costs can overwhelm every good thing a company does, which is always a threat to airline shares. Nevertheless, Delta shares are up 27% this year and look like they could go higher for these four reasons.
First, Delta is gaining ground at New York LaGuardia, where it is building a hub that will offer more than 250 daily departures by summer, largely because it will complete a deal with US Airways in which it gains 132 slots in exchange for slots at Washington Reagan National. New York is the world's largest travel market, so gains there are important, and no carrier has every offered so many flights from LaGuardia.
On the carrier's earnings conference call, Glen Hauenstein, executive vice president for network planning, said LaGuardia had the "biggest margin improvement for any
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