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Delta Air Lifts Earnings Forecast on Ticket Sales Rebound

Delta Air Lines' ticket sales rebound after bottoming out in the later part of August and the first part of September.
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Delta Air Lines  (DAL) - Get Delta Air Lines, Inc. Report said Sunday that its ticket sales have begun to rebound, returning it toward the company’s original third-quarter revenue estimate of a 30%-35% slide from 2019.

The news came from CEO Ed Bastian, speaking to reporters at an IATA (International Air Transport Association) meeting, Reuters reported.

Last month, Delta said in an SEC filing that “adjusted total revenue, excluding third-party refinery sales, is expected to be at the lower end of the prior guidance range, as the recent rise in Covid cases is suppressing demand in the second half of the quarter.”

But now, Delta’s ticket sales “bottomed out in the later part of August and the first part of September," Bastian said, according to Reuters. "Business traffic is growing back in the U.S."

The company’s domestic travel bookings should beat 2019 levels in 2022, Bastian said.

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Demand for trans-Atlantic flights is jumping after President Biden decided last month to let in fully vaccinated travelers from overseas, Delta said.

The news didn’t help its stock much. It traded on Monday at $45.18, down 0.4% at last check. It surged 12% over the past month, as COVID-19’s delta variant seems to be on the wane.

Delta has scheduled its third-quarter earnings report for Oct. 13.

Morningstar analyst Burkett Huey has a $52.50 price target for the company, though he gives it no moat.

“We continue to believe that the carrier has permanently improved its cost structure due to pandemic-related restructuring,” he wrote in a commentary after Delta released its second-quarter earnings in July.