Delta Air Lines (DAL - Free Report) reported fourth-quarter 2019 earnings per share (excluding 1 cent from non-recurring items) of $1.7 per share, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.4. Earnings increased 30.8% on a year-over-year basis mainly due to low fuel costs.
How Was the Estimate Revision Trend?
Investors should note that the earnings estimate revisions for Delta depicted a bright picture prior to the earnings release. The stock had seen the Zacks Consensus Estimate for fourth-quarter earnings being revised upward to the tune of 1.5% over the past 30 days
Prior to the earnings beat in the fourth-quarter, the company delivered positive surprises in each of the trailing four quarters. The average earnings beat was 3.5%.
Revenues Better Than Expected
Delta recorded operating revenues of $11,439 million, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $11,342.3 million. Revenues increased 6.5% on a year over year basis.
Key Stats to Note: The airline behemoth witnessed a 1.4% growth in consolidated passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM: a key measure of unit revenue) in the quarter. Fuel price per gallon declined 17.7% on an adjusted basis. For the first quarter of 2020, the carrier expects revenues to grow in the range of 5% to 7%. The estimated fuel price, including taxes and refinery impact, is expected in the range of $2 to $2.20 per gallon for the first quarter. Pre-tax margin is expected to be flat on a year over year basis. The company expects total revenues per available seat miles (TRASM: adjusted) to be either flat or increase up to 2% in the first quarter. Non fuel unit cost (adjusted) is expected to increase in the 2-3% range in the first quarter.
Zacks Rank: Currently, Delta carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) but that could change following the company’s earnings report which was just released. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Stock Price: The earnings outperformance pleased investors. Consequently, shares of the company were up in pre-market trading at the time of writing.
Check back later for our full write up on this Delta earnings report later!
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