This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Delta Lures Investors With Earnings Beat, Dividend, Buyback, Debt Cut

Stocks in this article: DAL

ATLANTA ( TheStreet) -- Delta (DAL) beat earnings estimates, reduced debt, paid a dividend and bought back shares, underscoring its commitment to lure investors back to the airline industry.

In the third quarter, excluding items, the carrier earned $1.2 billion, or $1.41 a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had estimated $1.36. Revenue rose 6% to $10.49 billion, in line with estimates. Including $157 million in one-time items, net income was $1.4 billion, or $1.59 a share.

Consolidated passenger revenue grew 6.7% to $9.25 billion. "The momentum we have built by running an outstanding operation and investing in our product and people enabled a 7% revenue growth, with particularly strong performance in Atlanta, New York and London," said Delta President Ed Bastian, in a prepared statement.

"The revenue environment appears solid through the end of the year, including strong holiday bookings, and we expect to continue to build on the revenue premium we deliver versus the industry," Bastian said.

Delta was the first airline to report third-quarter results. If analyst estimates hold, Delta revenue will exceed United (UAL) revenue, making Delta the world's largest airline by revenue during the quarter.

During the quarter, Delta spent $100 million to repurchase 4.8 million shares at an average price of $20.82 and also paid $51 million in dividends.

The carrier ended the quarter with $9.9 billion in net debt, a reduction of $7 billion since 2009. "The $1.8 billion in free cash flow we have generated so far this year has allowed us to achieve our initial $10 billion debt target and start down the path toward our new $7 billion target," said Chief Financial Officer Paul Jacobson.

Passenger revenue per available seat mile grew 4%. Domestic unit revenue rose 7.7%, the biggest gain, while consolidated unit revenue grew 4.0%. Pacific unit revenue fell 4.2%, the only segment decline.

On the cost side, consolidated unit cost excluding fuel and special items grew 1.1%, driven by the impact of wage increases and operational and service improvements. Fuel expenses, excluding mark-to-market hedging adjustments, declined $81 million due to lower market fuel prices and better settled hedge performances.

Operations at the Trainer refinery produced a $3 million profit. Lower crack spreads pressured results, but also reduced market jet fuel prices.

During the current quarter, Delta said it expects a unit cost increase of 2%, with a capacity increase of 1% to 3%.

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Ted Reed

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,778.15 +421.28 2.43%
S&P 500 2,061.23 +48.34 2.40%
NASDAQ 4,748.3960 +104.0840 2.24%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs