Delta Air Lines Inc. Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL) will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, January 25, 2012. Delta Air Lines operates as an airline, providing scheduled air transportation for passengers and cargo throughout the United States and around the world.

Delta Air Lines, Inc. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet.

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for profit of 37 cents per share, a rise of 94.7% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved up from 13 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved up. It has risen from 35 cents during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 22.2% versus last year to $1.33.

Past Earnings Performance: The company met estimates last quarter after beating the forecasts in the prior two. In the third quarter, the company reported net income of 91 cents per share versus a mean estimate of profit of 91 cents per share. In the second quarter, the company beat estimates by one cent.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a rise of 6.7% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $8.31 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are bullish on this stock with 11 analysts rating it as a buy, one rating it as a sell and none rating it as a hold.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit rose 51.2% to $549 million (65 cents a share) from $363 million (43 cents a share) the year earlier, meeting analyst expectations. Revenue rose 9.7% to $9.82 billion from $8.95 billion.

Key Stats:

Revenue has risen the past four quarters. Revenue rose 12.1% in the second quarter from the year earlier, climbed 13.1% in the first quarter from the year-ago quarter and 14.5% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

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), SkyWest, Inc. (NASDAQ:SKYW), and Air France – KLM (AFLYY).

Stock Price Performance: During November 18, 2011 to January 19, 2012, the stock price had risen $1.97 (26.8%) from $7.36 to $9.33. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between October 3, 2011 and October 13, 2011 when shares rose for nine-straight days, rising 30.5% (+$2.03) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between April 12, 2011 and April 25, 2011 when shares fell for nine-straight days, falling 9.1% (-90 cents) over that span.

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

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To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at

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