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Author: Alan LittleDate: 2022-01-14

Delta Air Lines (DAL) +2.5% following Q4 earnings and revenue beats

Delta Air Lines (DAL) traded 2.5% higher in New York on Thursday after it posted Q4 beats and forecast a “strong” travel season for the spring and summer.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) shares took flight in New York on Thursday following the release of its Q4 report, which featured earnings and revenue beats.

Before markets opened, Delta posted $0.22 earnings per share for the three months to 31st December, which was better than the $0.14 Wall Street consensus and a major rebound from the $2.53 loss from a year ago.

Group revenues were similarly healthy, surging 138% year-over-year to $9.47bn versus the pre-report forecasts of $9.14bn, though the figure was still 17% down on pre-pandemic levels.

It might be a while longer before Delta Air Lines’ performance returns to a 2019 baseline after the firm admitted that the challenges wrought by the Omicron variant are likely to delay its long-term recovery.

CEO Ed Bastian said that Delta was the “only major U.S. airline” to be profitable during the second half of 2021, and attributed its success to the resilience and quality of its employees.

While Omicron has hit staffing levels and caused other issues that will crimp demand in the short term, Bastian said that he was “confident in a strong spring and summer travel season with significant pent-up demand for consumer and business travel”.

A strong Q4 for Delta mirrors that of its rival, American Airlines (AAL), which said earlier this week that it should be able to deliver better-than-anticipated revenue and wider profit margins.

The updates suggest that the travel industry is in good health as the new year gets underway and that a sustained recovery for the sector is possible pending the developments of COVID-19 variants.

Delta shares traded up on Thursday as investors bought into the stock, with the 2.5% advance by late morning setting a $41.62 price and extending its market cap to almost $27bn.

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