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Delta Air Lines CEO: 'Great Start' To New Year

Delta Air Lines CEO: 'Great Start' To New Year

Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE: DAL) on Wednesday reported first-quarter results that marked a "great start" to the new fiscal year, CEO Ed Bastian told CNBC.

Delta's first-quarter adjusted earnings of 96 cents per share beat estimates by 7 cents. Sales of $10.4 billion were slightly ahead of consensus estimates.

What Happened

Delta's earnings report was driven by strong demand that prompted 7-percent top-line growth, Bastian told CNBC. Total revenue of $10.4 billion represents the company's largest ever March-ending quarter performance. Unit costs were actually down on a year-over-year basis during a typically seasonally weak period, which was also hampered by weather issues.

Delta also grew its earnings per share rose 28 percent, which Bastian says likely ranks the company among the 50 best performers in the S&P 500 index.

Why It's Important

Delta's strength is mostly due to its brand strength which continues to expand, he said. The company also saw strength among corporate travelers, which was up 10 percent in the first quarter and should remain strong, Bastian said.

Delta doesn't operate any of Boeing Co (NYSE: BA)'s 737 Air MAX planes that have been grounded. The impact to the overall aviation market remains very small and winning market share from the safety-related issue isn't "something we want to compete around," Bastian said.

Delta has no concerns in Boeing's ability to fix any issues as the airplane maker remains Delta's biggest fleet provider, he said.

Delta's stock traded higher by 2.5 percent to $58.40 per share Wednesday morning.

Related Links:

Macro Weakness Aside, Delta Air Lines Analysts Largely Positive

Imperial Downgrades Delta And United Continental, Sees Clear Skies For Most Other US Airline Stocks

Posted-In: 737 Air MAX AirlinersEarnings News Travel Top Stories Media General Best of Benzinga


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