Delta profits rise to US$1.3b on higher ticket prices

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Delta topped third-quarter profit expectations with strong travel demand pushing ticket prices higher.

The Atlanta carrier posted earnings of US$1.31 billion, or US$1.91 per share. Removing one-time charges, per-share profit was US$1.80, which is six cents better than expected, according to a survey by Zacks Investment Research.

Revenue was US$11.95 billion, about in line with expectations.

Delta said Thursday that it took a US$30 million hit from Hurricane Florence and had a US$655 million fuel cost increase in the quarter, but benefited from a lower share count and changes in the tax law.

Hurricane Florence caused at least 3,500 flight cancellations last month, mostly in the Carolinas. Delta said on September 17 that it canceled 275 to that point and was still dealing with disruptions at two airports.

But ticket prices are up across the board, led by business and first-class tickets, where revenues increased almost 20 percent.

Shares of Delta Air Lines Inc. climbed more than 2 percent before the opening bell.-AP