Categories AlphaGraphs, Analysis, Earnings

Delta Air Lines (DAL) Q4 earnings preview: What investors need to know

Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) reported positive results for the third quarter but the stock had a dismal show in the post-earnings session as the market was not impressed by the guidance. Though the stock recovered towards the end of last year, after the management revised up the outlook, it pared a part of the gains last week as oil prices spiked due to the ongoing tension in the Middle East.

For the fourth quarter, experts currently expect an 8% increase in earnings per share to $1.14, reflecting an estimated 6% growth in revenues to $11.34 billion. The results are scheduled to be released on January 14 before the opening bell. The market is buoyed by the company’s decision to return as much as two-thirds of its free cash flow to shareholders through share buyback and dividends this year.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) beats Q3 earnings expectations

The steady increase in passenger traffic and capacity expansion will help the company maintain the momentum in the final months of the fiscal year. Ticket sales, which account for more than 90% of total revenues, will continue to be the main growth driver. It is estimated that margins benefited from higher unit revenues and a further decline in operating cost per available seat mile.

Also read: American Airlines stock drops after guidance cut

It is too early to expect Delta’s recent investment in Latam Airlines – involving the acquisition of a part of the Latin American firm’s aircraft fleet – to contribute to near-term revenue growth. The $1.9-billion deal will be accretive to earnings in the coming years. Meanwhile, the credit card partnership with American Express (AXP) is estimated to have generated incremental revenue in the December-quarter.

Of late, Delta has been shifting focus to non-core areas of the business through strategic partnerships, such as the recent acquisition of a minority stake in Wheels Up, an aviation startup that operates private jets. The deal also marked the airline’s exit from the luxury jet charter business.

In the third quarter, earnings grew sharply to $2.32 per share and topped expectations even as revenue moved up 5% annually to $12.6 billion, in line with the consensus estimate.

Related: Delta Air Lines Q3 2019 Earnings Call Transcript

After gaining about 19% in the past twelve months, shares of Delta Air Lines dropped in the early days of the year mainly due to economic and geopolitical uncertainties. Nevertheless, the shares are still trading close to the all-time highs seen last year.

We’re on Apple News! Follow us to receive the latest stock market, earnings and financial news at your fingertips

Most Popular

IPO Alert: Here’s what to look for when CaliberCos goes public

The massive slowdown in the IPO market continued in the second half as the challenges posed by high inflation and interest rate hikes weighed on investor confidence. Meanwhile, there is

CarMax (KMX) Stock: Does the current dip offer a buying opportunity?

The automotive sector is one of the worst affected by the combination of high inflation and rising interest rates. Consumers have become more cautious and are prioritizing their purchases with

Ultimax Digital gears up for $10mln IPO. Here’s all you need to know

The IPO market has witnessed muted activity this year, and things don’t seem to have improved in the second half. The upcoming public listing of video game technology firm Ultimax

Add Comment
Viewing Highlight