Delta Airlines , which emerged from bankruptcy on April 30, said this morning that its third-quarter net income quadrupled thanks to a busy summer business. In its latest reporting period the first full quarter since bankruptcy proceedings were complete Delta earned $220 million or 56 cents per share, compared with $52 million last year.
Revenue increased 10% during the quarter to $5.23 billion. Analysts were expecting per-share results of 42 cents on $5.1 billion in revenue. Revenue passenger miles rose 7.1% and capacity edged 3.3% higher. Load factor (the percentage of available seats filled) rose 2.9 percentage points to 83.1%, hitting a monthly record.
Richard Anderson the Delta CEO who assumed leadership of the company on September 1 said As these results demonstrate, Delta has emerged as a leader in the airline industry and we intend to maintain that position. Looking ahead, DAL officials expect fourth-quarter operating margin of 3% to 5%, with capacity up 3% to 4%.
While the stock was higher in pre-market activity, it has dropped 1.3% in early trading. Yesterday, in a Schaeffer's Daily Contrarian posting, I wondered if optimism was reaching a worrisome level for Delta. Cheerfulness in the press, and a low Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) suggest that expectations may have been high for the shares as the company's earnings report approached. While the firm managed to toppled analysts' estimates, the initial reaction is a pullback, confirming that expectations may have been inflated beyond justifiable levels.