Delta and Hawaiian Start the Party on Day One of Airline Earnings

Atlanta (TheStreet) --Delta (DAL) and Hawaiian (HA) shares showed big gains Wednesday, after the carriers led the parade of airline earnings reports.

Four more major carriers will report on Thursday, while Alaska (ALK) will report Friday.

In trading Wednesday, Hawaiian shares led the industry with a 7% gain, rising 94 cents to $14.63. The carrier reported, following the close on Tuesday, that its adjusted first-quarter loss, which excludes fuel costs, was 2 cents share, narrower than consensus estimate of a 12-cent-loss.

Delta shares rose 6%, gaining $2.14 to $37.09, after the carrier reported a record first-quarter profit excluding items of $281 million, beat estimates and guided toward a strong current quarter, with April passenger revenue per available seat mile up 6% and similar numbers expected in May and June.

Imperial Capital analyst Bob McAdoo wrote Wednesday that he was pleased by Hawaiian's move of aircraft "from unprofitable Asia routes to more profitable West Coastroutes," with service to Maui from San Jose and Los Angeles replacing service to Fukuoka, Japan, and Tapei.

McAdoo maintained a $16 price target, based on an earnings multiple of eleven. Cowen & Co. analyst Helane Becker raised her price target to $14 from $13.

"We've seen yields improve as the company has slowed its international growth," Becker wrote. "We believe PRASM will continue to improve on international routes as long as the Japanese yen and Australian dollar remain at current levels."

If you liked this article you might like

Here Are the Best Elite Airline Status Programs

Here's Why New York Area Airports Score Low With Travelers

Stocks Dad Would Have Loved, And Why He Was Right

United Airlines Might Be Having an Identity Crisis That Is Worrying Wall Street