Market Overview

Delta CEO Details Q2 Records In CNBC Interview


Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE: DAL) reported Thursday second-quarter results, highlighted by a record quarterly profit of $2 billion, CEO Ed Bastian told CNBC's Phil LeBeau.

What Happened

Delta not only recorded its best June-ending quarter in history, but the single quarter profit is better than the full-year profit recorded in 85 of the company's 90-year history, Bastian said. Another interesting record: five of the top 10 revenue days in history were recorded in the past 30 days.

The company "clearly" benefited from the grounding of Boeing Co (NYSE: BA) 737 MAX, which impacted Delta's competitors, the CEO said. The benefit wasn't "significant" and he said any momentum seen is the result of Delta's brand growing over the past few years.

Why It's Important

Airline skeptics are likely to point out weakness in the Pacific and Asia region and Bastian said there is some weakness. However, he said it's "modest compared to the overall picture." The business in China saw a double-digit growth in terms of passenger growth.

Despite some concern, Delta's transatlantic revenues recorded an all-time high in the quarter.

Bastian said the second-quarter performance should not be seen as a "one-off" as the momentum, especially in terms of top-line growth, is expected to continue into at least the back half of 2019. Investors will see near-term benefits from $3 billion in cash returns to shareholders while free cash flow for the full year should come in at $4 billion.

Delta's stock traded higher by 1.2% at $60.24 Thursday afternoon.

Related Links:

Stephens More Bullish On Delta After Guidance Update

The Boeing 737 MAX Has Been Grounded Since March: How Are Airlines Responding?

Posted-In: 737 MAX Airliners CNBC Ed Bastian Phil LeBeauEarnings News Media


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