Delta Air Lines Inc. Earnings: Beats Estimates

Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE:DAL) reported net income above Wall Street’s expectations for the fourth quarter. Delta Air Lines operates as an airline, providing scheduled air transportation for passengers and cargo throughout the United States and around the world.

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Delta Air Lines Earnings Cheat Sheet for the Fourth Quarter

Results: Net income for Delta Air Lines Inc. rose to $425 million (50 cents per share) vs. $19 million (2 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a substantial increase from the year earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 7.8% to $8.4 billion from the year earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: DAL reported adjusted net income of 45 cents per share. By that measure, the company beat the mean estimate of 37 cents per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $8.31 billion.

Quoting Management: “Delta people pulled together in 2011 to produce a solid profit, strong cash generation, and the best operational performance in the industry for our customers. I want to thank them for their hard work through a challenging year and congratulate them on earning $264 million in profit sharing and $60 million in Shared Rewards for their exceptional performance,” said Richard Anderson, Delta’s chief executive officer. “Looking forward to 2012, we will continue our commitment to sustained profitability and superior returns by growing and diversifying our revenues, while taking a disciplined approach to capacity, costs and capital spending.”

Key Stats:

Revenue has risen the past four quarters. Revenue increased 9.7% to $9.82 billion in the third quarter. The figure rose 12.1% in the second quarter from the year earlier and climbed 13.1% in the first quarter from the year-ago quarter.

The company beat estimates last quarter after being in line with expectations in the third quarter with net income of 91 cents per share.

Competitors to Watch: AMR Corporation (NYSE:AMR), United Continental Hldgs., Inc. (NYSE:UAL), Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE:ALK), US Airways Group, Inc. (NYSE:LCC), Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV), JetBlue Airways Corp. (NASDAQ:JBLU), AirTran Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AAI), Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:HA) and SkyWest, Inc. (NASDAQ:SKYW).

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(Company fundamentals provided by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at