Delta Air Lines Narrows Loss But Misses Earnings Estimates
A nearly 90% reduction in year-over-year charges related to the carrier's merger with Northwest also aided the bottom line. "As a result of the strategic pieces we put in place in 2009 and the strong momentum of our merger integration, Delta is now positioned to capitalize on the economic recovery under way and expects to generate positive [revenue per available seat mile] improvements each month of this year," said Chief Executive Richard Anderson in a statement.
Less Capacity in the First Quarter
Of the major carriers reporting quarterly results so far, Delta and American Airlines' parent AMR Corp. (AMR) missed estimates, while Continental (CAL) and Southwest (LUV) swung back to Street-beating profitability.
For the first quarter, Delta expects capacity to drop 5% to 7% internationally and 1% to 3% domestically. Operating margin is forecast to break even.
For the full year, the company reported a net loss of $1.24 billion, or $1.50 a share, versus a year-ago loss of $8.92 billion, or $19.08. Revenue declined 24% to $28.06 billion from $22.70 billion. Delta ended the quarter with $5.4 billion in unrestricted liquidity and expects that to climb to $5.6 billion by the end of the current quarter.