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Here's What to Expect from Delta Air Lines (DAL) Q1 2019 Earnings

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Delta Air Lines (DAL - Free Report) has seen its stock price soar 16% over the last month, driven by updated first-quarter earnings and revenue guidance that helped show Wall Street that some of its recent business traveler-focused investments have started to pay off. With that said, let’s take a look at exactly what to expect from Delta’s Q1 earnings results Wednesday.


Delta saw its stock price surge on Tuesday after the company upped its quarterly earnings and revenue guidance. The company also announced that it renewed its partnership with American Express (AXP - Free Report) for its Delta credit cards, which is set to run through 2029. And, in a sign that executives might think DAL stock is undervalued, the country’s third-largest carrier by traffic completed $1.3 billion in share repurchases during the quarter.

Amid increased competition among U.S. airlines, Delta has spent heavily to attract business customers. The moves include new lie-flat seats and higher-end facilities at airports. The Atlanta-based firm clearly looks strong heading into Q1 earnings season.

Meanwhile, Southwest Airlines (LUV - Free Report) recently cut its quarterly unit-revenue forecast, citing unplanned maintenance and weather-based flight cancellations. Southwest also pointed to the grounding of its Boeing (BA - Free Report) 737 MAX fleet as a reason for its subdued guidance (What to Expect from Boeing's Q1 Earnings Amid 737 MAX Headwinds).



Outlook & Earnings Trends

Moving on, Delta’s first quarter 2019 revenue is projected to pop 4.2% to reach $10.39 billion, based on our current Zacks Consensus Estimate. This would mark a bit of a slowdown from Q4’s roughly 5% top-line growth, which did fall just short of our quarterly estimate for the second time during the last four quarters.

At the bottom of the income statement, DAL’s adjusted Q1 earnings are expected to surge 17.6% to reach $0.87 per share. Peeking further ahead, the company’s full-year EPS figure is projected to climb 16.5%. We should also note that the company topped our earnings estimate last quarter, as it has for the trailing four periods.

Plus, the chart below shows how much more positive Delta’s earnings estimate revisions have turned over the last seven days, propelled by its updated quarterly guidance.  



Bottom Line

Delta is currently a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) based for the most part on its earnings estimate revision activity. The firm also sports “A” grades for Value and Momentum in our Style Scores system. Shares of DAL closed regular trading Friday up 0.89% to $57.73 per share.

Delta is scheduled to report its first quarter 2019 financial results before the opening bell on Wednesday, April 10. So, make sure to head back to Zacks for a full breakdown of the company’s actual quarterly metrics. Investors interested in the airline industry should also be on the lookout for reports from United Airlines (UAL - Free Report) , Southwest, JetBlue (JBLU - Free Report) , and others due out in the coming weeks.

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